Saturday, 21 May 2011

Rashad Evans vs. Phil Davis set as headliner of UFC 133 in Philadelphia in August

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

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Those hoping to see the UFC throw together a bigger fight for UFC 133 in August will be disappointed to see that the UFC is rolling with the light heavyweight bout between Rashad Evans and Phil Davis in the night's main event slot on August 6.

The organization has officially put UFC 133 "Evans vs. Davis" on their schedule, and though more fights will be added to the night's card, it would seem that this will be the headliner.

The fight is an important one for Evans, as it will be his first in over a year with a win keeping him in line for the title shot against Jon Jones. His only career loss remains the knockout to Lyoto Machida that took his title from him, and he's won two straight since then; but after waiting out then champ Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, Evans suffered a knee injury that allowed Jones to step into his slot and take the fight.

Davis is getting an opportunity to catapult himself up the ladder much like Jones has this year. After stepping in to take the UFC Fight Night 24 main event fight with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira when Tito Ortiz pulled out due to injury. Now, with Evans needing an opponent as Jones' return is delayed until October likely, Davis stepped up again, and a win over Evans may just throw him into the mix.

So while it may seem like a lesser main event, the fight remains extremely important to both and to the light heavyweight division.

Penick's Analysis: The UFC is going to test the floor of their hardcore pay-per-view buying fanbase over the next three months. With UFC 130 losing its main event and having an unproven draw in Matt Hamill in the main event, UFC 131 losing Brock Lesnar, UFC 132 being headlined by two unproven draws in Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber and now this card not getting a title fight and having an unproven draw in Davis, this could be a rocky stretch for the organization in terms of buys. Of course, they end the summer with a great UFC 134 event in Rio, and could turn things back around in the fall with the return of a few major fighters, but injuries and the loss of a number of fighters has certainly given the UFC some cause for concern for these summer cards.

[Rashad Evans art by Cory Gould (c) MMATorch.com]

Source: http://www.mmatorch.com/artman2/publish/UFC_2/article_9342.shtml

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