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‘UFC Fight Night: Nogueira vs. Davis’ Aftermath Part 1: Davis Wins In Un-Bonesman-like Fashion

Future champ? Pffff…Davis didn’t even have the courage to challenge a teammate after his victory.

Oh, fans, why do we do this to ourselves? We’ve been here so many times before, yet we never learn our lesson. We’ve declared the Brock Era, the Machida Era, and the Bones Era, but the only era we’re really in is one of unrealistic expectations. With his win over Lil’ Nog last night, Phil Davis extends his record to a perfect 9-0, with five of those victories coming in the past thirteen months, but it isn’t enough, is it? No, not when some of the most recognizable faces in the sport are created in 12 short episodes of reality tv. Not when Jon Jones violently takes the belt at the age of 23. Last night Phil Davis struggled with his takedowns. His standup still needs work. He failed to rag doll Nogueira and put him away with a freshly minted submission. He looked {gasp} like an evolving fighter.

Not long ago it would have been enough for an up and coming prospect just over two years into his career to take out a highly respected MMA veteran on the sport’s biggest stage, but that’s not the world we live in. Maybe there were just too many similarities between Davis and Jones to let the comparisons slide. They’re both young fighters with very impressive wrestling. They were both undefeated (yeah, screw that Hamill thing) headed into their last fight on short notice against a far more experienced Brazilian legend. Yeah, they even kind of look alike too. What we saw last night is that there’s only one Jon Jones, but that doesn’t mean “Mr. Wonderful” didn’t display the qualities that make a champion.

Based on his fights with Jason Brilz and Ryan Bader, many expected Nogueira’s back to hit the mat and hit it often. Minotoro however showed greatly improved takedown defense, which spelled trouble for Davis early on. Having all five of his first round shots stuffed, Davis was forced to stand with the decorated boxer. He used his long reach and a bevy of kicks to stay outside the range of Nogueira’s fist-focused attack, but he still ate some shots. While striking is clearly still not his forte, he managed to avoid any real danger and take the first round on all of the judges scorecards. His failures to get the fight to the ground must have been disheartening, but Davis did not wilt. Rather he adapted mid-fight and switched up his attack with single-leg shots, bringing Nogueira to the canvas. That tenacity and determination would dictate the rest of the fight, with Davis scoring two more takedowns in the third round. He controlled the fight on the ground and walked away with the decision.

Davis’s only test last night was to defeat Nogueira, and he did just that. It wasn’t flashy, it wasn’t the fight of the night, but it was impressive. The reason Jon Jones is so exceptional is because he’s so…well, exceptional. If everyone could walk into an MMA gym and take home a championship a few years later, his story would be commonplace. As fans we can try to predict the future and hold fighters to whatever expectations we put forth, but Davis needs only to continue down the same path–winning one fight at a time as he improves his all around skills–if he wants to make it to the top of his division. That’s good enough for me.

- Chris Colemon

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Hesh to Steel- March 28, 2011 at 8:20 am
Sucks that Davis doesn't get the credit that he deserves. Some of the arguments in this thread are hilarious as well. Saying that Davis's win wasn't impressive because "all it took was a switch from double leg to single leg to take down Nogueira"? Really? Circular logic much?
jfjjfjff- March 27, 2011 at 9:46 pm
mr wonderful's left hand is not a threat. he needs to develop a jab or something rather than his open-hand swat or whatever the hell that was.
Beelzebuddy- March 27, 2011 at 9:38 pm
If someone has already said this, well, fuck me, but this sport is, for all practical purposes, in it's infancy. I wouldn't fall too deeply in love with any of these guys. I'm pretty sure we're gonna grind through 'champs' at a pretty alarming rate for the next few years and every now & then, there will be a (love him or hate him) Silva to create a logjam.
GetSomeOnYOU- March 27, 2011 at 4:35 pm
Shazam. 1st post. glad to be on the team. looking forward to lengthy debates coupled with outrageous arguments resulting in nothing gained.
BIGHAL- March 27, 2011 at 2:31 pm
@ hank mardukis,
i told my wife as soon as they "hardy/johnson" entered the cage that it was going to be one of the best fights of the year so far. i was all jacked, and getting in a great mood to see these to just fight of the night this show, and i could not believe what i was seeing. i was very let down by both of them. i like them both and they are both very entertaining but this fight really let me down on both ends. it was as if they were both afraid of each other. on a side note- dranokills would still be a pussy no matter what the outcome of the fight :)
Hank Mardukis- March 27, 2011 at 12:23 pm
CrushCo - Fuck the haters, I thought this was well-written, and I agree. MMA fans' expectations are ridiculously high now that Bones is champ; he's called a phenom for a reason. Davis is still an excellent prospect who just needs to fine-tune his all-around game.

BigHal - Seconded. Drano is a huge gaping snatch. I like Hardy, and hated every second of that fight once it was clear that Johnson was there to wrestle, but the thought of the look on drano's pussy face while his butt-buddy was being lay'n'raped made it all worthwhile.
BIGHAL- March 27, 2011 at 11:33 am
dranokills is still a pussy
CrushCo- March 27, 2011 at 11:22 am
@Vera- yeah, what RwilsonR said. I think Davis's activity on the ground was stymied by Nogueira's BJJ. I also think Nogueira's BJJ was limited by Davis's ground control. Davis got his chocolate in Lil Nog's peanut butter, and vice versa. It may not have been the sweetest treat, but that's what we were left with.
RwilsonR- March 27, 2011 at 11:04 am
@ Vera - I think the problem you're having with Nog vs Davis is that neither looked all that impressive because they were evenly matched. On the feet, I think it was hard for Nog to figure out the distance because of Davis' length, and the kicks surprised him. For Nog to avoid so many takedowns from such an incredible wrestler is damn impressive, and equally so was Davis' ability to avoid getting into any danger in the guard of such an impressive BJJ fighter. So I think the impressiveness of both fighters was certainly on display, it just happened to cancel each other's strengths out.
RwilsonR- March 27, 2011 at 10:57 am
Actually, I kind of feel sorry for Ryan Bader. I think in a lot of ways he has grown faster and better than Phil Davis in the same timeframe, has accomplished more, but hasn't received the same level of hype because be lacks some of the, um... "explosiveness." Plus, both guys are extremely good prospects who just have the misfortune of being in Jone Jones impressive shadow. I wouldn't be surprised if a year or two from now, Davis and Bader are consensus number 2 and 3 in the division behind Jones.
I think all of these LHW prospects are great for the sport and have infused new blood fairly quickly. They also all have similar backgrounds as awesome wrestlers who are taking serious time to learn different aspects of the sport. Cain Velasquez also fits this same mold.
Vera- March 27, 2011 at 10:56 am
Fair enough, i take your point.

Tell me this?From what you saw last night, why would you consider that to be a win over a 'tough opponent'?I saw nothing impressive last night from little Nog apart from stuffing a couple ot takedowns in the first round, all Davis had to do was then to switch from attampting double legs to single legs and he took him down at will?Where was little Nogs Black belt?He didnt look like a tough opponent to me, just another fighter relying totally on connecting with a big shot to finish and having nothing else to offer!
RwilsonR- March 27, 2011 at 10:49 am
I thought this was a perfectly stated article. Lil Nog came prepared last night, and when that happens he is one tough and durable test for any fighter, and Phil Davis showed that while he is young in the sport he was up for the task. He's growing. Let him grow.
And if you think CrushCo is loving him some Jonny Bones, well... yeah, so? I can understand why you may or may not love Jones' personality, but if you can't gush with enthusiasm over what the dude has been doing in the cage then I'm not sure you're watching the right sport.
For those that are worried they won't see Hardy again after he failed to stop another lay n' pray attack, have no fear - he isn't going anywhere. His job is secure. He just won't be on any non-UK card again anytime soon.
CrushCo- March 27, 2011 at 10:29 am
JoLo1: I understand what you're saying. I guess I credit Nogueira more for his ground defense than I do penalize Davis. Davis has shown some good submission skills and I think he'll grow to be more dominant. I think he simply struggled against a guy with pretty decent BJJ, which is to be expected at this stage of his career.
thebolt- March 27, 2011 at 10:17 am
Aren't we STILL in the Anderson Silva/GSP era? Why do we need to declare a new era before the old one is over? When Bones has defended his belt 4 or 5 times I'll be ready to declare it the Jon Jones era.
JoLo1- March 27, 2011 at 10:17 am

Winning against a tough opponent isn't automatically impressive, you have to show something impressive in the fight, he didn't. He couldn't get a take down in round 1 and his striking was non-existant, Lil' Nog won that round.

Ok yeah he adapted in Rounds 2 and 3 to the single leg, but whuppty shit, all he did was lay and pray, throwing tiny insignificant punches and elbows to score points while holding Lil'Nog down. If you're impressed by that then you should re-assess how you evaluate a fight. These aren't wresting matches, holding a guy down shouldn't win you the fight. What you do once you have the guy down is what should matter, i.e. submission attempts, significant striking. Ground and Pound used to mean Matt Hughes or Tito Ortiz pounding the shit out of people from the guard, now everyone seems impressed and they praise guys like Davis and Johnson for just getting a takedown and then lying on top of the guy for the rest of the round.

Ok he got the win, and he executed a game plan, but don't call a boring fight "impressive"
Get Off Me- March 27, 2011 at 10:09 am
Why are we comparing Davis to Jones?
Because we know this guy is good and probably will keep winning.
Al Davis said it best, just win baby....that's Phil Davis he wins, who gives two shits how it looks against Lil Nog, he won hands down and will beat his next opponent as well.

Guess you missed Fekete getting put to sleep in an inverted traingle choke last night.
CrushCo- March 27, 2011 at 9:59 am
macreadysshack- It's not often you see a Johnny Dangerously reference. Thanks for that.
macreadysshack- March 27, 2011 at 9:51 am
Sorry, I meant to address 10th Planet guys, wrestlers, Greeks and my grandma . . .
macreadysshack- March 27, 2011 at 9:49 am
No, really, Horwich caught me in a twister once. I just can't remember what hurt worse, my back or my neck. You 10th Planet guys out there? Where's the pressure supposed to be in your opponent's body?
macreadysshack- March 27, 2011 at 9:46 am
My grandma got me in a twister once. Once.
ccman- March 27, 2011 at 9:25 am
Aside from zombie only thing of note from last night is maybe sonnen was onto something bout nog bjj belts should come in cracker jack boxes.
BIGHAL- March 27, 2011 at 9:24 am
who would have thought that after all of this, dranokills would still be a pussy
CrushCo- March 27, 2011 at 8:52 am
@Vera- not saying it was exciting, but it is an impressive win for Davis. It was a big step up in competition and he had a short and difficult camp (he said post fight he was injured and camp didn't go well). My point is that it wasn't flashy and you shouldn't be awestruck by his performance, but he got the job done against a tough opponent. I think he's a solid prospect as long as he continues to improve, and I think he will.
DangadaDang- March 27, 2011 at 8:39 am
Oh yeah, forgot to mention the Madsen/Russow scrap, just like most everyone in the world probably forgot it even happened.

Fuck Bruce Leroy.
Vera- March 27, 2011 at 8:20 am
'It wasn’t flashy, it wasn’t the fight of the night, but it was impressive' have got to be kidding me?

Mr Wonderful my ass...Mr One Dimensional more like!
He was exposed last night!