Phil Davis earned the biggest win of his UFC career as he edged Lyoto Machida on the scorecards to earn a split decision victory with scores of 29-28 across the board. Late takedowns in both the first and second rounds may have been the difference on the cards, as boos erupted from the crowd with the reading of the official decision.
Both fighters went with kicks to start as Lyoto Machida stalked forward looking to invite Phil Davis into a striking match. Machida finally exploded later in the round, throwing a multiple strike combination that sent Davis reeling back to the cage. Davis shook off the attack then secured a late takedown, landing to the body as the bell sounded on a very close round.
Machida again took the center of the cage as he stalked Davis with his patient attack. Machida scored with kicks and landed pinpoint accurate punches as Davis stepped in to close the distance. Davis earned another late takedown to close out the second, kneeing the body and landing right hands to the bell.
Machida turned up his attack in the third, but it was his takedown defense that was showcased as he shrugged off multiple attempts from Phil Davis. Machida scored consistently off the takedown attempts, peppering Davis on the breaks to take control of the round. Machida finished the bout strong, scoring at will as the crowd responded to the action to close out the fight.
With scores of 29-28 on all three cards, Phil Davis (11-1-1 MMA, 8-1-1 UFC) extends his win streak to three while taking one step closer to title contention.