Phil Davis has, before most were expecting it, slid into the mix for the UFC’s light heavyweight title. After beating Antonio Rogerio Nogueira – or “Little Nog” as most hardcore fans call him – Davis sat in front of a group of reporters for a post-fight press conference and answered questions about what he expects in his immediate future in the fight game.
Questions about the recently-crowed 205-pound champ Jon Jones were directed at the fighter known as “Mr. Wonderful.” Fresh off the win over Nogueira, Davis didn’t want to hear any noise about a potential fight with Jones, simply answering, “If (Dana White) says get ’em, I got ’em. If he don’t say get ’em, I don’t got ’em.”
The fact is, if Davis wins his recently announced fight with Rashad Evans at UFC 133 in Philadelphia on Aug. 6, he could possibly be the next opponent for Jones.
At that point, he’ll definitely be told “get ‘em” because he “got ‘em.”
With Jones having to bow out of his scheduled fight with Evans due to a thumb injury that he though needed surgery, Davis was called in to take on the man who was originally slated to fight for the title. As of last week, Jones elected to opt out of surgery and should be cleared to fight come June, but that doesn’t change the plan for Davis to take on Evans at UFC 133.
The fight is still on and Davis is happy to get a shot at a number one contender at this point in his young career.
“The timing is fine,” Davis told MMAWeekly.com. “I’m going to go out there and get a ‘W’ no matter what.”
No sooner or later would have made any difference for Davis. He fights when it’s time to fight, no matter who is standing on the opposite side of the Octagon on fight night. It’s safe to say that Davis will take a fight; who, what, when, where and how are the last things on his mind.
Of late, “how” has stood out most when Davis is notified of a pending fight. In three of his last four outings, Davis has stepped in for a fighter withdrawing due to injury.
Obviously, he’s being given these opportunities to fight because he’s the best man for the job, not because he’s lucky or the next best guy wasn’t available. Davis is, simply put, the next best guy.
But as good as he is, Evans is also good. Both were Division I NCAA wrestlers and are capable of grinding out an opponent with the greatest of ease. It’s easy to predict that each of their wrestling pedigrees will cancel out the other. At that point, one has to wonder where the advantage lies.
“He’s someone I should definitely be concerned about, with my skill set,” Davis said. “I expect a pretty good fight.
“I invite the opportunity to face someone of his level of wrestling and I think I’ll be fine.”
Wherever the fight goes, Davis is convinced that the pace will be dictated by him. The fact that Evans’ wrestling may be as good, or perhaps better, isn’t something he thinks or cares about. Things don’t change just because he’s fighting Rashad Evans.
“I like to think I’m going to be the one controlling the pace of any fight. And I don’t think this will be any different.
“I will take this fight wherever it wants to go.”
While in college at Penn State University, Davis studied kinesiology and never expected fighting in a cage to supply him with income in his post-college years. But like a lot of kids fresh out of higher learning, Davis didn’t know exactly what career path to take once he left campus. Fortunately for him, and his fans of course, Davis discovered mixed martial arts, according to him, like most people do: he knew a guy who knew a guy who thought he should try it.
The rest is history, but it all leads up to a showdown with Rashad Evans in Philadelphia.
With an undefeated record intact, he’ll fight a guy who is a former light heavyweight champion and didn’t experience a loss until the 15th fight of his career. Experience is clearly in Evans’ corner, but Davis is still focused on getting through the fight, regardless of what kind of attributes and accolades his opponent has.
If you’re going to fight, you shouldn’t expect to lose, and Phil Davis expects nothing but keeping his record spotless, taking it one fight at a time.
“Losing was never something I planned on doing.”
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