‘Mr. Wonderful’ Tapped to Replace Injured Jones Against Evans


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Phil Davis (center) has stepped up to meet Rashad Evans on Aug. 6. | Fred Haas/Sherdog.com


After much hullabaloo over Jon Jones and Rashad Evans’ impending showdown, it appears the former Jackson’s MMA teammates won’t square off inside the Octagon anytime soon after all.

The UFC announced via Twitter on Monday that unbeaten light heavyweight prospect Phil Davis has been tapped to replace Jones against Evans at UFC 133 on Aug. 6. According to multiple reports, newly crowned UFC 205-pound champ Jones suffered a torn ligament in his right hand during his March 19 title win over Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 128 and is now set to undergo surgery.

The Canadian Press first reported news of Jones’ injury on Monday.

Evans, 31, is himself a former UFC light heavyweight titlist, having won the belt with a December 2008 stoppage of fellow “Ultimate Fighter” alum Forrest Griffin. The former Michigan State Spartan would lose the belt in his next outing, a vicious May 2009 knockout at the hands of Lyoto Machida which also marked the first defeat of Evans’ career.

Since that time, “Suga” has recorded unanimous decisions against American Top Team standout Thiago Silva and, most recently, fellow ex-champ Quinton Jackson. Following his May 2010 win over “Rampage,” Evans was once again declared No. 1 contender to the light heavyweight throne, but a knee injury to then-champion Rua postponed the bout until this past March. One month out from the match, Evans himself injured a knee, making way for Jones to step in and claim gold.

Davis, a four-time NCAA Div. I All-American wrestler at Penn State, comes off the most substantial win of his career. At March’s UFC Fight Night 24, Davis took another short-notice assignment, replacing the injured Tito Ortiz against Pride Fighting Championships veteran Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. Davis ground out the highly regarded 205-pound stalwart over three rounds to take a unanimous decision and run his unblemished record to 9-0.

Since joining the UFC in February 2010, Davis has competed and won five times, submitting Alexander Gustafsson and Tim Boetsch, while notching decisions against Nogueira, Rodney Wallace and onetime WEC light heavyweight titleholder Brian Stann.

UFC 133 is expected to take place at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia and will also feature a light heavyweight tilt between Nogueira and former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin, as well as a 185-pound affair pitting Vitor Belfort against Yoshihiro Akiyama.

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