The UFC will make its return to Philadelphia this summer on Saturday, August 6th as UFC 133 takes place at Wells Fargo Center. The card is headlined by former light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans taking on former Penn State wrestler Phil Davis.
UFC 133 was supposed to feature a what would been a huge fight between Davis and current light heavyweight champ Jon Jones, but Jones was forced to withdraw after tearing a ligament in his hand. Instead, the bout between Evans and Pennsylvania born Phil Davis will determine the #1 contender for Jones' title.
Davis has quickly risen up the contender ranks after his defeat of Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in March. A win over Evans in Philadelphia would cement his rise from prospect to contender. Still, as Luke Thomas points out, there's no way to label the missed Evans vs Jones matchup as anything but a disappointment.
The match-up between Evans and Davis is noteworthy. Two former wrestlers. One former champion and a rising contender. But there's little the two can do to replicate the driving force that the narrative between Jones and Evans carried. Evans vs. Davis is intriguing and will make for an excellent fight, but there's no real substitute for what was likely to be a blockbuster of a main event for the UFC.
UFC President Dana White says he's excited to have the UFC back in Philadelphia and defended his main event.
"The last time we were in Philly, the fans were incredible so we are excited to head back there with a card that features three former world champions. Phil is undefeated at 9-0 and has never been more motivated for a fight, and he wants to prove that he belongs atop the light heavyweight division. Rashad is on fire. He wants his title back so badly he can taste it, but he knows before he can get his title shot he has to get through Phil. He wants to win and he wants to win impressively. This is a great fight."
The undefeated Davis, who hails from Harrisburgh, won a division 1 national title wrestling for Penn State. He aims to duplicate that success in the octagon and is excited to prove himself in front of family and friends in Philly.
"I'm definitely glad to be back in Pennsylvania for the biggest fight of my life," Davis said. "It's going to be good to be able to fight in front of all my family and friends. I feel like I can take this fight wherever I want. I can wrestle with Rashad, I can strike with him, and I feel confident wherever this fight goes. Rashad Evans is the most dangerous opponent I've ever faced, but I don't think for a minute that I'm outmatched. I'm going to take care of this fight and do whatever I have to do to beat Rashad."
The undercard includes the aforementioned Antonio Rogerio Nogueira taking on former middleweight champ Rich Franklin and a 185 pound bout between former UFC world champ Vitor Belfort and Toshihiro Akiyama.
Tickets for UFC 133 will go onsale exclusively through ComcastTIX on Saturday June 11th at 10 a.m. You can go online to ComcastTIX.com or call 1-800-298-4200. Tickets will also be available through the Wells Fargo Center box office.