Ryan Bader won a lukewarm light-heavyweight encounter with Phil Davis tonight at UFC On FOX 14, edging out his opponent by split decision.

Round One:

Davis circling on the outside as Bader pumps out the jab. Davis pawing out with his jab too. Bader presses forward with a flurry of left and rights, but doesn’t find a home for them as Davis backs out of range.

Right hook lands for Bader. He lunges into another punch that lands. Davis barrels into a takedown attempt, but Bader defends and lands a knee as he moves away.

Push kick for Davis. Davis fakes a takedown and throws a punch instead. Back to a feeling out process now and both men are still trying to find their range. Davis lands a few kicks.

Bader circling now and partially lands an overhand. Bader in close for a second and Davis tries to capitalize with punches, but misses.

Davis again fakes a takedown and throws punches instead. Solid body kick for Bader. Crowd a little impatient as this fight continues to be fought relatively tenatively with neither man seizing the initiative so far

Round Two:

Davis with a couple of kicks that come up short. Bader lands a glancing jab. Left hand connects for Bader. Davis bursts into a takedown and Bader manages to stay on his feet. They work in the clinch then exit with Bader landing an elbow.

Davis lands a strike. He throws a punch and then goes upstairs with a kick that at least partially lands. Bader seems fine though. Big winging punch from Davis misses.

Crowd booing again. Davis with a couple of body kicks. Bader not getting a whole lot done in this round so far. Davis with another takedown attempt and again Bader does well to stop it and they remain in teh clinch. Davis with a few knees in this position and Bader grabs a hold of a single leg to try a takedown of his own. It doesn’t work out and instead Davis finally manages to get his opponent to the mat.

Bader turtled on his knees and manages to use the cage to stand. Davis still clinched up and presses him to the cage.Knees to the body and legs from Davis. Shoulder shrug from Davis as he ends the round with a spell of Octagon control.

Round Three:

Final round and this fight is there for the taking. Nice body kick from Bader. Punches from Bader miss and they monentarily clinch in the center of the Octagon.

Left hook blocked by Bader. Couple of leg kicks from Davis. Bader reaching with a left hand. Davis landing a left hook counter.

Exchange in close and Davis lands a hard punch. Davis tries the takedown and it’s stuffed well by Bader. Another attempt with the same result. Davis sporting swelling to his face now, unclear what caused it.

Bader tries to clinch but is met by punches. Brief exchanges here, but neither fighter is putting together a sustained assault.

Nice right hand and a leg kick from Davis. Another leg kick from Davis with a minute left. A few hard leg and body kicks from Davis paying dividends now.

Bader blocks a high kick. Davis with a punch which leads to a takedown attempt, but Bader not only stops it, but ends up still on his feet and takes his opponent’s back. He lands a nice takedown courtesy of that advantageous position in the final seconds of the fight, though Davis is rolling on top as the bell sounds.

Decision:

Neither fighter really stamped their authority on this encounter and that leads to a split decision verdict and it’s Ryan Bader who gets the nod from two of the three judges (29-28 x2, 28-29) to emerge victorious.

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