Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) recently held a press conference in New York City (full recap here) as part of its world press tour to promote the end of year events. During the event, UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones was asked his prediction for the UFC 163 match up between Lyoto Machida and Phil Davis, which takes place tonight (Sat., Aug. 3, 2013) at HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro.
Jones -- who faced Machida at UFC 140 and pulled off a walk-off guillotine choke, scoring one of the best finishes of the year and one of the most gruesome moments in the Brazilian's career -- was rather confident that "Mr. Wonderful" wasn't on the same striking level as "The Dragon."
His prediction (via FightLine.com):
"I think Lyoto Machida is gonna win. He has phenomenal footwork. Machida has a very deceptive left hand. I don't think Phil Davis' kickboxing level has anything to do with that."
Jones' assessment isn't wrong. In his nine-fight UFC career, Davis hasn't demonstrated an aptitude for finishing opponents on the feet. He's a ground fighter who has found a way to mix a submission game with his already outstanding grappling pedigree.
In other words, his stand up only serves to set up his takedown attempts.
If Davis has any chance at walking away victorious later this evening, he's going to have to figure out a way to put Machida on his back and work for a submission.
For more on the Light Heavyweight showdown between Lyoto Machida vs. Phil Davis be sure to check out our complete fight archive right here.