UFC: With Jon Jones Out, Is Phil Davis Ready to Steal the Spotlight?

Robert GardnerSenior Analyst IMay 1, 2011

As the MMA community is well aware by now, newly crowned UFC Light-Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones has been forced to pull out of his first title defense against his former training partner and friend, Rashad Evans, due to a reoccurring ligament injury in his hand.

And taking his place in the bout is none other than Mr. Wonderful, Phil Davis.

Davis, who is coming off the biggest win of his young career against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in March, will be put to the test once again when he steps into the octagon with the former UFC Light-Heavyweight Champion, Evans.

While I have never been a huge fan of Evans, he is, without question, one of the best fighters in MMA today. With his blend of wrestling, speed and an ever improving striking game it's easy to see why Evans has been so successful thus far in his MMA career, but I just have a feeling that he is going to have his hands full with Davis.

He may not be coming off of his most impressive showing but make no mistake Davis is as good an up and comer as there is in all of MMA today.

A former NCAA National Champion wrestler and four-time All-American at Penn State Davis has an incredible wrestling pedigree. Pair that with his natural athleticism and his great submission skill-set and Davis is simply a force to be reckoned with.

The one area that Davis is lacking however is in the stand up department. His striking is rudimentary at best and while he is improving every fight Evans has already developed into an outstanding striker and he will look to expose the young fighter on the feet.

This fight is a huge opportunity for Davis to not only pick up a signature win but to also steal a little bit of the hype and spotlight currently surrounding Jones.

Davis has a huge challenge ahead of him but it's a challenge I am sure he will well prepared for come August.