In the second fight of the UFC 159 main card, Phil Davis (11-1, 1 NC) outpointed Vinny Magalhaes (10-6, 1 NC) on the feet to win a unanimous decision. Phil improved to 7-1, 1 NC with the win, while Vinny dropped to 1-1 in his most recent UFC run.
Davis' plan was clear from the very beginning of the fight. He didn't want to mess with the ADCC champion on the mat, so he used his wrestling to keep the fight standing. From there, he used basic combinations to outland his opponent and runaway with the judges' scorecards. Vinny's only success to speak of was a first-round takedown that led to him taking Davis' back. The success was short-lived as Phil escaped quickly.
What was the high point of the fight?
Vinny's takedown off a caught low kick in the first round. It was probably the most dramatic point of the fight as Magalhaes tried to control the larger Davis. He was unable to and shortly after both men slowed and the rest of the fight was pretty dull.
Where do they go from here?
Davis showed Saturday night that he is indeed a step ahead of the mid-tier of the LHW division. However he also showed that he remains a limited fighter. Despite all the talk of his "improved striking", his combinations were still very simple and there's no doubt he'd struggle much more on the feet against a more talented opponent. That said, after spending his last 3 fights against the likes of Wagner Prado and Vinny, he needs to step up his level of competition. A fight against Ryan Bader makes a lot of sense here.
As much as Davis showed he's still limited, Vinny displayed the same even more so. While his striking has certainly improved since he's days on TUF 8, it remains a liability for him in the cage. On top of that, he had the normal problem of BJJ practitioners transitioning to MMA: an inability to force the ground fight he desperately needed. After getting his shot against a top 10 opponent, Vinny needs some fights against some lower level fighters to give himself time to improve. Once Joey Beltran returns from his suspension, he'd make a good fight for the outstanding grappler.
Watch it now, later, or never?
Unless you're a big fan of sloppy kickboxing by gassed Light Heavyweights, this one isn't worth your time.