by Brian Lopez-Benchimol – MMAWeekly.com
One of the UFC’s newest burgeoning talents has been left with more questions than answers following his Octagon debut this past February, even though it was a win over former WEC champion Brian Stann.
The enigmatic man in question is one Phil Davis, a collegiate wrestling stud who impressed the fans and media alike with his one-sided shutdown of the U.S. Marine in what turned into a grappling clinic.
“Mr. Wonderful” seems to be the one least impressed by his performance.
“I wonder, ‘what did I do after one fight in the UFC that all this can really be said?'” Davis contemplated while a guest on the MMAWeekly Radio show.
“I think I had a solid fight. I don’t feel like I executed a lot of strategy. So it’s kind of been a love-hate as far as the comments go.”
And while Davis has become his own biggest critic, a trait that has carried some of the greatest fighters in the sport today to new heights, he also acknowledges that the added attention is part of a new lifestyle, a lifestyle that is now supporting him financially.
“It’s definitely paying the bills, not to sound ungrateful,” said the 26-year-old.
The Pennsylvania transplant, who now lives in the sunny San Diego, Calif., area, while he trains with Alliance MMA and the usual suspects at Lloyd Irvin’s Jiu-Jitsu school, is now gearing towards another paycheck when he meets fellow undefeated light heavyweight Alexander Gustafsson on the preliminary portion of UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi.
Training alongside the likes of Brandon Vera, Demian Maia, and Joey Beltran has undoubtedly propelled Davis’ game to new heights, which will come in handy on Saturday.
Marking his toughest test to date, Davis has done his homework and now looks to extend his win streak to six, move to 2-0 within the always stacked 205-pound division, and continue to improve his stock as one of the best up and comers that the UFC has to offer.
“Long, rangy. The guy has a pretty good right hand,” he noted in sizing up Gustafsson, who most recently came off of a first round knockout over Jared Hamman at UFC 105 in his promotional debut.
“If you kind of just (bring the fight) to the mat as you’re fighting him, you’re taking away three valuable weapons. I’m looking forward to fighting him.”