With the win, Evans will earn a UFC light heavyweight title shot against Jon Jones, and Evans said afterward that he is uninjured and will be ready for that fight in April.
The fight wasn't the kind of barn-burner that the UFC and Fox were surely hoping for, and many in the crowd at the United Center booed as the event drew to a close. But it was the win Evans needed to get another crack at the title. All three judges gave all five rounds to Evans.
"I fought at a pretty high pace but I felt like I wanted to put it away and just didn't get the chance," Evans said. "I'm kind of disappointed by that."
Evans said the fight with Jones is the fight he's focused on.
"It was hard to focus on this fight because everybody kept talking about that fight," Evans said. "Now I get an opportunity to fight Jon and I'm very excited about that."
Davis said at the post-fight press conference that he was disappointed he failed in the biggest fight of his career.
"He's a good fighter," Davis said of Evans. "I just couldn't score the points I needed to in the clutch positions."
Davis employed some powerful leg kicks in the early going and seemed to be using his reach to get the better of the stand-up exchanges. However, with a little over a minute to go in the round, Evans took Davis down and then transitioned into side control, where he battered Davis's head on the ground. That was enough to win the first round for Evans.
The second round was slow most of the way until, with only 30 seconds left, Davis threw a kick that Evans caught, and Evans once again took Davis down and got into side control. Evans didn't do as much on the ground at the end of the second as he had at the end of the first, but given how little action there was before that, it was probably enough for Evans to win the round again.
Early in the third Davis attempted a takedown, but Evans sprawled and managed to end up on top of Davis, and even briefly took his back before they stood back up. Evans then got the better of an exchange of punches, and although Davis was finally able to get Evans back down after that, he couldn't do anything on the ground, and Evans won yet another round.
Davis landed a hard body kick that made a sound like the crack of a bat early in the fourth round, but there wasn't much significant striking in the round after that. Both Evans and Davis were tiring out and not getting much done as the fourth went on.
Early in the fifth Davis threw a kick that Evans caught with one hand while hitting Davis with the other, and he knocked Davis down and got on top of him. Evans played it safe for the rest of the round, knowing he had won. And knowing he's got Jones next.
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