With Chris Weidman (10-0) defeating Anderson Silva (33-5), there seems to be an idea where fans and critics think up-and-coming fighters are going to defeat established stars.
One case where this could happen is at tonight’s UFC 163 co-main event where Phil Davis (11-1 1NC), also known as “Mr. Wonderful” steps into the octagon against former UFC Light Heavyweight champion Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida (19-3).
Once again Davis fights himself in what will be the toughest fight in his career. In 2012 he previously fought Rashad Evans (18-3-1), another former UFC champion, where he lost by decision. Although Mr. Wonderul is no stranger to big matches, Machida is in a different league.
On paper, this looks like it will a classic grappler vs. striker match as Machida clearly has the advantage on the feet while Davis has the strength and wrestling skills to take The Dragon to the mat. With Machida’s background in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Davis being a NCAA Division I champion, this could be a fun scrap to watch on the ground, much to the chagrin of fans who want to the see the quick knockout.
Both guys are coming into the match on a two-fight winning streak. One advantage Machida has in this bout is he will be fighting in front of his home countrymen.
All in all I think Machida will walk away with the decision unless Davis can overpower him on the ground.
If The Dragon wins this match, he will solidify himself as the top contender for the UFC Light Heavyweight title. If Mr. Wonderful pulls out the victory, he could either be in line for a title match, or face Evans and get the chance to avenge the 2012 loss.
How do you think Davis will do in his fight against Machida? Answer with a comment below or send a tweet to @alstover.