The Ultimate Fighting Championship blew into Chicago for UFC on Fox and it was Rashad Evans facing Phil Davis in a light-heavyweight bout at the United Center. The last time the UFC had held an event in Illinois was UFC 90 in 2008.
In the main event, Evans (22-1-1, 12-1-1 UFC) won a unanimous decision over Davis (9-1, 5-1 UFC). The five-round bout was scored 50-45. The loss was the first for Davis in his 10-fight career, but more surprisingly was the way in which he lost the fight, by being outwrestled.
Davis was a four-time NCAA Division I All-American at Penn State, so being outwrestled had to be a blow to his game plan.
Davis standup was much improved from his previous bouts, but his lack of maturity as a complete MMA fighter was evident throughout the fight. His transitions from standup to takedowns were not as fluent as you would want facing an ex-champion in Evans. “MMA takedowns come down to transitions, so you can be the best college wrestler in the sport, but if you don’t have good transitions from your punch to your takedowns then you’re not going to have a good shot,” said Evans.
Evans also believes it was his experience in the cage that helped him win the decision. “I believe that he (Davis) needs a couple of more years before his stand up is better than mine,” Evans said.
With the win, Evans’ next bout will come against UFC light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones. The bout is scheduled to take place at UFC 145 in Atlanta at the Philips Arena on April 21.
This is a battle of former training partners under Greg Jackson’s Submission Fighting. Evans left Jackson’s gym after it became apparent that the two would eventually have to fight for the title.
Evans now fights out of Imperial Athetics (aka “Blackzilians”) in Boca Raton, Fla., a gym he co-founded with several Brazilian fighters.
The heavyweights were in action in the “Windy City,” as Mike Russow, a Chicago police officer, took on Jon Olav Einemo. Russow was the subject of many a chant, the most prevalent of which was the audience shouting “CPD.”
You know, because he works for the Chicago Police Department.
It’s still not clear whether the fans were chanting that for support of Russow or simply to entertain themselves while they watched a plodding heavyweight fight between two guys who looked gassed by the time the second round was over.
The long and short of it is that Russow used his considerable girth to lay on top of Einemo and wear him out until the final horn sounded. He was awarded the unanimous decision victory, keeping his perfect record in the UFC alive at 4-0.