Just as Phil Davis was getting ready for the biggest fight of his young career, against Rashad Evans in the main event of UFC 133, disaster struck.
Deep into his training camp, Davis suffered a knee injury that at first he believed was just something twisted, but after a doctor’s visit he realized it was much more than that.
“I thought for sure I just twisted my knee, like ‘oh yeah, that kind of stung.’ It turns out I did a little bit more than twist it. The final diagnosis was a partial ligament tear, which isn’t the end of the world,” Davis revealed on MMAWeekly Radio.
While the injury wasn’t severe enough to require surgery, Davis was forced to call the UFC and tell them that he’d be unable to make the Aug. 6 fight with Evans.
Disappointment washed over Davis because he was excited to test himself against the former UFC light heavyweight champion. Even more disappointment in Davis’ mind was when the doctors told him that he really needed rest the knee and stay out of the gym.
That was as devastating as anything because, for as much as Phil Davis enjoys a night spent playing Xbox, going to the gym every day is just part of life. So he rested, rehabbed, spent time in the hyperbaric chamber, and now he’s counting down the days until he can get back into training with his team.
“Come two weeks from now I should be on my way back into the Octagon,” Davis said. “I wish I could be ready to fight three weeks ago, but it happens.”
Davis will first go back into training to test the knee just to make sure he’s given it enough time to heal, and then he’ll start to figure out when he can fight again.
“I would love to be back in 2011,” said Davis. “It’s really like ‘will I be back?’ Well, let’s hope the rest of my recovery goes as planned, and in a couple of weeks when I go back into training everything goes well also and I don’t re-injure it. That needs to happen first. After that starts going well, then we can start talking about 2011.”
While the downtime has given Davis adequate time to become very proficient at playing ‘Call of Duty,’ he still wants to go back to his full-time job of training and fighting.
Despite his injury and inability to take a fight right now, Davis still can’t escape the rumors that he’s already booking his next bout. Speculation surfaced weeks ago that former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida was next up for Davis in the Octagon, but he has to laugh because, quite honestly, he hasn’t even been given the go ahead to fight again.
“I’m sitting here on my couch fighting little German dudes overseas via Call of Duty, and they’re telling me I’m fighting. Well you know who they said. I don’t even want to say. But I don’t know, it’s kind of funny like that,” Davis said with a laugh.
While Davis has no problem fighting Machida or anyone the UFC puts in front of him, he says it’s kind of hard to accept a fight when he’s not even ready to come back yet.
“It’s like that fight might get made, but it’s really like if he wants to sit around until I get healthy, sure!” Davis said about accepting a fight with Machida. “You can’t just make a fight when I’m not even in the gym at all.”
If there is one challenge from Lyoto Machida or any fighter in the UFC that Davis will happily accept, it’s to meet him on the Call of Duty battlefield.
“Tell him to get five of his people, five of my people, we’ll go head to head,” said Davis.
Until he’s able to get back into training and accept a fight, Davis will work on his Xbox skills and then worry about who he’s matched up with next.