According to ESPN.com, the UFC is going to make the main event of their second broadcast on the Fox network a Light Heavyweight bout between Rashad Evans and Phil Davis. The fight, if confirmed, will air live in primetime on Saturday, January 28th.
Davis vs. Evans is actually the perfect fight for network broadcast. Evans has the star power and mainstream recognition to draw in the casual audience, while Phil Davis is a huge prospect with great upside that would benefit from the increased exposure.
Barring unforeseen circumstances, it’s all but a lock that the winner will be named the #1 contender for the UFC Light Heavyweight championship currently held by Jon Jones. Rashad Evans has been waiting for his shot ever since an injury kept him from a scheduled bout with then-champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in March. As a result of Evans’s injury, the fight was offered to teammate Jon Jones, who accepted and won the title from Rua. Evans has been itching for a fight ever since, with media attention gravitating towards his disappointment with his former teammate for taking the title shot. Now the only thing standing in his way is Phil Davis, a highly touted prospect and has been on an absolute tear since entering the UFC in February of 2010 and racked up wins over the likes of Brian Stann, Alexander Gustafsson, and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
It’s also an intriguing fight for fans on its own competitive merits. Although Evans is a solid striker and wrestler, he’d be giving up a lot of size and strength to Davis. On the other hand, Davis is still a young fighter with an untested chin. I’m hedging my bets on Davis being a long-term fixture at Light Heavyweight and eventual champion, but Evans has the most technically proficient stand-up game of any opponent he’s faced.
For their second go around, the UFC has already confirmed that two fights will air on the Fox network. There’s still no word on what that fight will be. A Welterweight fight between Diego Sanchez and Jake Ellenberger was rumored for the event, but that’s since been confirmed as the main event for the February 15th fight card airing on Fuel TV. Another fight, still rumored and not confirmed by either fighter or the UFC, is a Middleweight #1 contender’s match between Chael Sonnen and Mark Munoz.