CHICAGO -- In a bout to decide the next light heavyweight title contender, Rashad Evans controlled Phil Davis on his way to a unanimous decision at the United Center on Saturday night. The judges saw it 50-45 on all three cards for Evans.
Davis landed a spinning leg kick, then ducked low into a takedown. Evans pushed him into the fence and fended off the takedown attempt. Every time Davis came in to try to get the takedown, Evans made him pay with a punch or two. Evans got a takedown at the 1:30 point of the first round, then moved to side control. From there, he put Davis into a crucifix hold and landed a bevy of short punches.
In the second round, Evans was aggressive, landing several punches early in the round. They clinched, but things slowed down considerably. They had a few striking exchanges, with Evans coming out on top. In the last 30 seconds, Evans took Davis down and again landed punches from side control.
[ Related: Evans earns his UFC title shot vs. Jones ]
Davis shot in for a takedown to start the third round. Davis drove him against the fence until he finally got the takedown. Evans reversed position and landed several lefts to Davis' face. They returned to their feet, and Davis got another takedown, and Evans returned to his feet while Davis held on for dear life.
Early in the fourth round, Davis landed a punishing rib kick, but Evans did not slow down. He continued to move forward, stalking Davis around the cage. When Davis shot in for a takedown, Evans fended him off before getting a takedown of his own.
Evans started the fifth round with a huge strike, and then held off Davis' attack. Evans caught a kick, then as he held the single leg, punched Davis until he went down. He stretched Davis into side control, and continued to land punches even as Davis worked to his feet. Evans controlled the rest of the round the way he controlled the whole fight.
With this win, Evans should punch his ticket for a fight with Jon Jones. The UFC announced Saturday that Jones' next bout will be in April in Atlanta. As long as Evans is healthy, the bout should be his.
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