Fighting a Brazilian in Brazil, Phil Davis Already Knows He’s the Bad Guy

October 10, 2012
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The last time Phil Davis stepped inside the UFC Octagon things ended in a rather anti-climatic fashion.

Just 1:28 into the first round, an accidental eye poke to his opponent, Wagner Prado, brought the end of the fight and the bout was ruled a no contest.

For Davis it was almost like he had gone through an entire training camp without actually getting any kind of result, but he’ll now do it all over again this Saturday at UFC 153 when he faces Prado for a second time.

When the first fight ended under those circumstances, a rematch seemed likely, but Davis says it really didn’t matter to him. The UFC lines up the opponents, and he knocks them down.

“Did I want to go back and fight Wagner and get the ‘W’? Sure. But I really don’t care. At the end of the day, I’m about winning fights and getting to the belt. I don’t really care about faces and names,” Davis told MMAWeekly Radio.

“That’s for the fans, Dana White and Joe Silva to worry about. My job is to keep winning.”

To keep winning, Davis will travel from his home base in San Diego all the way to Brazil where he faces Prado on his home turf.

Some fighters shy away from traveling to an opponent’s hometown or home country for a fight. The crowd is obviously going to be very one-sided, and it can be a tough spot to be in when it seems like the whole country is against you.

Fortunately, Phil Davis has gone through all of this before.

Prior to his career as a top light heavyweight in the UFC, Davis was a college wrestler at Penn State University, and like any college sport, the rivalries can get pretty intense, and stepping into an opponent’s home gym is no easy task.

Take for instance when Davis traveled to Oklahome State University in December 2007 for a meet. The two programs were ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the country, and it didn’t take long for Davis to realize he was not a welcome guest at the Oklahoma State gym.

“They had an ice storm, so it turns out only half of their normal crowd made it, and thank God, so as we come into the gym they had these little noise makers and it was like thundering. You couldn’t really hear too much of anything. There was no coaching going on during this match because you couldn’t hear five feet from the other person. You just gave up and did hand gestures because you couldn’t hear,” Davis described.

The noise and crowd didn’t play a factor, however, because Penn State went on to win the match, and Davis admits he was fueled by the venomous crowd.

“I get up for that; I enjoy feeling that energy in the arena,” said Davis.

This time around, Davis will enter as the “away team” to face Wagner Prado on his home turf in Brazil, and it doesn’t bother him one bit that the crowd won’t be on his side.

In the world of MMA, you may not meet a guy with a bigger smile or friendlier attitude than Phil Davis, but every once in a while, he likes to be the bad guy. Fighting a Brazilian in Brazil, well then, he has no choice.

“When you’re on somebody else’s home turf, whether you want to or not, you become the bad guy. There’s no good guys at an away meet. You’re the bad guy. So you just get to go out and show up and if you’re flashy, you’re flashy. Nobody says, ‘oh, he’s being flashy.’ No, he’s an away guy, he sucks either way,” said Davis.

“You get to go out, be mean; I love that.”

To hear the entire interview with Phil Davis, as well as Chris Camozzi and Joe Schilling, check out Tuesday’s edition of MMAWeekly Radio.

  • I love all mma fans. But I can’t stand when guys from other countries fight in the U.S and the Americans scream USA! Not trying to call out US. Also same with Brazil. A lot of Americans love Brazilian fighters, I’m sure everyone from all over the world respects them as much as anyone else. I hope Phil Davis gets the respect he deserves out there and doesn’t get boo’s while coming out.

    • TXmade

      Phil Davis doesn’t deserve respect. Dude is a douche bag, straight up. While at the ufc in Houston, TX, he refused to sign autographs when people saw him at the hotel, he refused to take pictures because “he didn’t do that.” He wasn’t even a big enough name for him to act like a douche bag. Dude thought he was jon jones. He’s just a one dimensional fighter, once he can’t take you down, his striking is not bailing him out. Evident in the Evans and Nog fight.

      • D3murf

        Uhh because he didn’t want to sign autographs that means he doesn’t deserve respect? If he doesn’t want to take pics or give autographs in his time to himself, isn’t that his prerogative? Stop hounding pseudo celebs and you wouldn’t have all this angst.

      • I met the guy and he was nice as hell to me. He probably didn’t like you, lol. JK. The guy has one defeat and to Rashad Evans of all people. He’s a successful collegiate wrestler and pro fighter in the UFC; I’m pretty sure he deserves respect.

      • Echinsu_ocha

        Who’s to say why he didn’t sign any autographs? Did he flat out say “no I don’t do that because I don’t appreciate or need the fans”? maybe he needed the time to himself and needed to focus on the task at hand. It would be different if he sat at the fan expo and told them no, but the man was at his hotel-his home for the time being and probably his only sanctuary away from the press….. Also, if he though he was Jon Jones he wouldn’t have been fighting that weekend but hey that’s another story.

    • Echinsu_ocha

      I hear ya, it’s funny because I don’t think I’ve heard USA chants during other sporting events (outside of the Olympics) For instance I’m in San Antonio and we have Tony Parker (French) who plays for the Spurs. Of all the games I’ve been to, never have I heard people chanting USA USA at him- same with any other foreign sports star. IDK why I’ve only heard this in MMA, maybe some of the old school “just bleed” generation are still being weeded out… who knows……

    • Nobama

      its good to love your country, thats all it is. i would hope americans rooted for the hometown guy over a foreigner just as any foreigner would if an american fought where the foreigner was from. USA USA USA hah