NEWARK, N.J. – For three full rounds, Phil Davis used his rangy striking attack to pick apart Vinny Magalhaes on the feet, all while using his vaunted wrestling game purely to stay out of the jiu-jitsu champion’s realm of expertise.

The result was a unanimous-decision victory (via 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 scores) for the former NCAA Division I national wrestling champion Davis, whose jab proved to be a riddle that Magalhaes could not solve.

The light-heavyweight bout was part of the main card of today’s UFC 159 event at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. It aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and Facebook.

Davis briefly seemed to have Magalhaes in trouble after a head kick in the first round, but he was content to stay on the outside and batter Magalhaes from a distance. Afterward, Davis thanked Magalhaes for engaging him in a pre-fight back-and-forth that he said elevated his game leading up to the fight.

“I really wanted to go out there and make a statement to the fans that I’m in the top 10 and I’m not going anywhere,” Davis said. “Tonight was about precision and risk management. I’m not going to shoot for takedowns that I can miss. I’d rather be precise with my techniques.

“I was playing it smart in there because Vinny is dangerous on the ground. My striking is coming along, but it’s not quite there yet. To me I’m brand new in this sport, and I’m still young. I’m just going to keep practicing hard every day because that’s what I love to do.”

Davis (11-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) gets his second win in a row thanks to the clean sweep on the scorecards. Magalhaes (10-6 MMA, 1-3 UFC) suffers his first loss since 2010, and his first since his return to the UFC.

Up-to-the-minute UFC 159 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC 159, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site.

Matt Erickson and Steven Marrocco contributed to this report on-site in Newark.

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