Photo by Scott Petersen via MMA Weekly
Phil Davis came into his UFC Fight Night 24 headliner against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira as an undefeated, highly touted threat to champ Jon Jones long-term title claim. By the time ended he looked very mortal compared to Jones.
There were a lot of parallels between Phil Davis and Jon Jones going into the last month. Jones was coming in against UFC light heavyweight champ Mauricio Rua at UFC 128 as a late replacement for Rashad Evans. Davis was coming into tonight's Spike TV headliner as a late substitute for Tito Ortiz. Jones was effectively undefeated (his only loss was a DQ against Matt Hammill, a man he utterly dominated). Phil Davis was undefeated.
Champion Mauricio Shogun Rua represented a huge hurdle in competition for Jones. Long time top light heavyweight and Rua's biggest rival in Pride FC, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira was a big step up for Davis.
Jones utterly destroyed Shogun and came out of the fight looking tougher than ever.
Davis took a unanimous decision 30-27 win over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira but looks less like a threat after the win.
Jones loomed over Shogun where Little Nog matched Davis for raw power. Jones battered Rua standing where Davis outpointed Nogueira on the feet.
Jones blitzed Shogun on the ground and forced the Brazilian to tap from strikes. Davis merely scored points against Nogueira. Davis did do one thing that Jones didn't have to do -- make adjustments. Davis struggled to take down Nogueira with double leg take downs in the first round. So he switched to single leg take downs in the second and third and had his way with Nogueira from top control.
Jon Jones had to be a little relieved after watching the Davis-Nogueira fight and feel assured that he was the true champion and Davis was just another pretender.