Peter Davis has consistently put on the best performances of his career at ONE FC events in his native Kuala Lumpur. He stopped Kim Hock with a spinning back kick followed by knees and punches, burst Kim Hock’s face open with a brutal upkick, and submitted Alaa Mazloum in the second round of a thrilling back-and-forth war.
Losses to Ariel Sexton and Eddie Ng mean that the 32-year-old Malaysian is unlikely to ever mount a serious challenge for the ONE FC lightweight title, but he is an entertaining and unorthodox fighter who is seemingly guaranteed a spot on the card every time Asia’s biggest MMA promotion comes to Kuala Lumpur.
At ONE FC: War of Nations, Davis will be looking to continue providing thrills for the Malaysian fans when he takes on Waqar Umar. He had initially been scheduled to face Wes Jaya, but an injury to the Muay Thai veteran put paid to that match-up.
Umar hails from Pakistan and is 3-0 in professional MMA, but Davis admits he is not entirely sure what to expect from an opponent who stepped in as a late replacement.
“I don’t know much about Waqar apart from the fact he has three sub victories and that he looks good against some of the most seasoned fighters in Pakistan. The Pakistani fighters usually have solid Kung Fu backgrounds and wrestling bases, so I’m going to have to be wary of his takedowns, or go with them and look to finish him with some slicker ground game. I would prefer to stand and counterstrike, but will have to see how the flow of the fight goes,” he said.
Since Davis returned to competitive MMA in 2011 after a five-year hiatus, he has registered two wins by TKO and three by submission. It’s a surprising statistic given that he has a reputation as being a Kung Fu based fighter who specializes in striking and he says his most recent win came on the back of a last-minute change of strategy.
“I changed my game plan at the last minute for my last fight. I had planned to strike, but due to loads of backstage advice 10 minutes before I went out for my fight with Alaa Mazloum, I found myself just purely looking for takedowns and that was quite a risky business. This time it should be a little more of a refined game plan, but you never know, it might change on the spur of the moment again!”
Davis is a traditional martial artist who holds a black belt in a form of Malaysian Kung Fu called Wuji Chuan. While he crosstrains in boxing, BJJ and wrestling to prepare for a fight, his philosophy is to react to every situation intuitively rather than put together a specific game plan and this is what makes his fights so exciting and unpredictable.
Against Ngabdi Mulyadi, he struggled to find his rhythm, but sunk in a third-round triangle choke after the Indonesian wrestler had taken him down. Against Kim Hock, he kept things standing and punished the Singaporean boxer with strikes. Against Leo Krishna, he was taken down again and this time finished the fight with an upkick from his back.
When he took on Mazloum, we saw a completely different side to Davis’ game as he shot for takedowns and eventually submitted the Egyptian with a rear naked choke. The only guarantee when the Malaysian, who is also a successful model, steps inside the ONE FC cage is that entertainment will ensue and he says he has been working hard to diversify his skillset in preparation for March 14.
“I’m training across several gyms for the specialty they each bring. I’m trying to up my game full stop, not just for this fight. I’ll still be based out of MuayFit and I’ll be teaching and training at Wuji too, but I’ll hover around Monarchy and Klinch too,” he said.
This will be Davis’ sixth fight in Kuala Lumpur and with Malaysia’s other MMA superstar, Adam Kayoom, out with a long-term injury, he is guaranteed the biggest cheer of the night at Stadium Negara. He has a real rapport with the local fight fans and says he loves nothing more than stepping inside the cage to compete in his hometown.
“Fighting in KL is great. There is more support. My friends are around, the fans are crazier, and when I might lose a bit of courage they push me forward. I love fighting in KL. It’s just difficult to leave the stadium if I win because everyone wants to take a photo with me!”
The roar when Davis walks into the cage to take on Umar is guaranteed to be deafening and if the night goes according to plan for the Malaysian fan-favorite then he definitely won’t be leaving Stadium Negara in a hurry.
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