Tuesday, 29 March 2011

ROUNDTABLE: Where is Phil Davis' place in the light heavyweight division after his UFC Fight Night 24 win over "Lil Nog"? Hansen, Hobaugh, Hyden, Bacior, Perez, Williams and Penick

Where do you put Phil Davis' place in the light heavyweight division after his win over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira?


Davis is a notch ahead of Nog, right in there with Bader.� He's not elite yet, and I think his fight with Nogueira should stop people from calling for Jones - Davis anytime soon.� I think a Davis - Griffin fight makes sense for both Davis and Griffin.


Phil Davis is in the top fifteen for sure. Nogueira is the first fighter he has faced in the top ten. He needs a solid win over another top ten fighter to himself be considered a top ten fighter. Even with his perfect record, five straight wins in the UFC, and wins over Tim Boetsch, Brian Stann, and now Nogueira�he is not yet in the top ten.


Well, I think that Davis has a lot of potential and deserves a step up in competition. Beating Nogueira is a nice feather in his cap, but he has a long way to go if he wants to compete with the best in the division. That will come with time, though. The next guy I'd put him in there with is Ryan Bader. The best way to accelerate a guy's learning curve is to throw him into the deep end. You don't do that right away, but you put him in there against Bader. Then, if he wins, you put him up against a Lyoto Machida or Quinton Jackson, and you get a real sense of where he's at. A match against Forrest Griffin or Rich Franklin would be okay, but I don't think that would really get Davis anywhere.


Well, my measuring stick is that I think he did better against Lil Nog then Ryan Bader did. So I would have him slightly above Bader, who is probably Top 12 or 13. I think he could give some of the bigger names fit, but he needs to get his striking more technically sound in order to become a true force in the division and break into the Top 10.


I don't place Phil Davis too high in the division at all.� Yes, he did step up to face a veteran like Rogerio Nogueira on short notice, and defeated him, but he's just another fighter to me.� A true test would be a definitive top 10 fighter, even someone like Forrest Griffin or Rich Franklin, or if the UFC really wants to fast track Davis, a fight against Shogun Rua.� Either way, he just needs to do what he can, keep improving, and then by the end of the year, he could become a top 10, if not top five, fighter in the division.


Phil Davis' win over Minotoro didn't do much for me.� In fact, for those, like me, who predicted he might provide a challenge to Jon Jones at some point, this victory showed that he has a long ways to go before a Jones fight would be competitive.� He's not a Top 10 fighter yet.


Expectations for Davis heading into the Nogueira fight last weekend were too high. Nogueira is a very good fighter, and he's been a difficult challenge for a lot of people, and even in his losses for the most part he hasn't been dominated. Davis was as successful if not more than Bader against Nogueira, and that's a great win on his record. That said, he's got improving to do. He's still growing and developing as a fighter, and he'd be the first to admit as much. He has the potential to be one of the top fighters in the division, but his whole game hasn't come around to that point just yet. With the win over Nogueira he's absolutely a top 15 guy, perhaps fringe top 10, but he needs to continue improving and developing before he gets thrust into the deep waters of the light heavyweight division. He doesn't need to be fast tracked. There's time to bring him along the right way and to allow him to get better fundamentally so that when he gets to the top end of the 205 lb. division he's fully prepared.

Source: http://www.mmatorch.com/artman2/publish/roundtables/article_8899.shtml

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