NEWARK, NJ -- The UFC 159 fight between Phil Davis and Vinny Magalhaes never made sense from a matchmaking context. Davis is still an improving long-term prospect, only once-beaten, while Magalhaes washed out of the UFC in his first tenure and was making his return after a decent run on the international scene.
The match only came about because Magalhaes willed it into existence, goading Davis with insults and trash talk, until Davis accepted and the UFC agreed to schedule it.
But few thought the matchup would be competitive, and Davis went off as a strong favorite. It turned out just as most expected, as Davis avoided Magalhaes' vaunted ground game and struck his way to a 30-27, 30-27, 29-28 unanimous decision.
"You know I've been working a lot of things for this fight," he said afterward. "There was. a lot of back and forth before the fight, and all I can say is thanks to Vinny for helping me elevate my game."
Davis out-landed Magalhaes 105-49 according to stats provided by the UFC. Davis had his best moments in the first, even hurting Magalhaes with a head kick. He kept the pressure on Magalhaes by consistently moving forward, and Magalhaes couldn't get the action where he wanted it, with the exception of a few seconds in the first when he took Davis down and tried to get his back. Davis worked free and back to his feet, and that was the last danger he faced all night.
Davis is now 11-1 with 1 no contest while Magalhaes' six-fight win streak was snapped, dropping his record to 10-6 with 1 no contest.