Phil Davis left the big pond of the UFC and became the big fish in the smaller pond of Bellator, taking the light-heavyweight belt like he was meant to have it.
Ryan Bader had his time in the UFC too, but the TUF winner felt Bellator’s pastures were greener, so he we are with a rematch, which Bader won the first time around via a boring dancefest.
Please don’t be another dancefest, please don’t be another dancefest…
Round 1 opens with a lot of measured movement, as Davis and Bader continue where they left off, throwing out punches from way out of range. They clinch briefly, separate, and circle, circle, circle, interspersing the circles with occasional kicks and jabs.
More dancing in the second, but Davis mixes in a couple failed takedown attempts and lands a low kick. Bader scores with a right hand late, so… I guess Bader took the round?
Davis scores a bit in the third round, first with a decent kick to the body and then with a Superman punch. Bader keeps jabs away, then pegs him with a left and an uppercut. More dancing, but a Bader guillotine results in Davis getting top position.
The dance contest gets so boring in Round 4 that referee Dan Miragliotta admonishes them for their inactivity. Bader’s jab is ever-present, while Davis is throwing some wild leather. Meanwhile, the crowd hates them.
Bader shoots for a couple takedowns in the final round, and though he gets thwarted, it’s at least something beyond the weak jabs and tentative whiffs both are winging. If anyone was considering buying the pay-per-view based on how this fight looked, well, they’re probably not buying the pay-per-view.
Results: Ryan Bader def. Phil Davis via Split Decision