September 11, 2007

by Jeff Cain – MMAWeekly.com
(Photo courtesy of irishhandgrenade.com)

Fresh off a victory over Paul Taylor at UFC 75 Saturday night, “The Irish Hand Grenade,” Marcus Davis, spoke with MMAWeekly about the fight, the high kick that nearly finished him, and what he wants his legacy as a fighter to be.

Marcus Davis has come a long way since his appearance on The Ultimate Fighter’s second season. Since losing to Melvin Guillard in the season’s finale, Davis has strung together a ten fight win streak with the last five amassed in the UFC.

Saturday night, at UFC 75, Davis continued to look impressive defeating the tough Brit, Paul Taylor, by arm bar late in the opening round, but he found himself in a lot of trouble after being kicked in the neck by Taylor and sent crashing to the canvas.

Questioned about the kick, Davis responded, “I don’t think it was how hard the kick was. It was just where it was placed. If the kick actually hit me in the head, I don’t think it would have hurt me since I’m used to taking a baseball bat to the head. It pretty much caught me right in the neck, and what it did, if you watch the tape you can see my legs just go out from underneath me. As soon as I hit the ground my head was clear, even when he was hitting me with shots, and that’s why I think Yves Lavigne never stopped him.”

Davis added, “He hit me in my neck, and what happened was my legs just came out from underneath me. I don’t know if anybody has caught you in the Jugular vein before, but it immediately paralyzes that side of your leg, or the leg on that side. It just took my legs out from underneath me. When I first hit the ground, I swear I was lying there thinking to myself, I can’t believe I just got caught with a high kick. I haven’t been hit with a high kick in about four years. I was actually in shock.”

Marcus was grateful that Yves Lavigne was the referee. He said, “I’m so happy that I did have Yves Lavigne that night and not some of the other guys that have been criticized for stopping fights early.”

He continued, “When he did stand over me he got to see my face and saw that I was fine. He saw Paul Taylor put his arm across my throat and was hitting me with his other hand with hammer strikes. I wasn’t able to move my head, but he wasn’t getting any power into those hammer strikes. I think that’s why he didn’t stop it immediately.

Marcus was able to improve his position and reverse Taylor which eventually led to the arm bar submission that ended the fight.

Davis doesn’t care about titles or rankings. He fights because he enjoys fighting, and he wants to compete against competitors that are going to present a difficult challenge and produce epic bouts.

“I tell people all the time, and I don’t know if they believe me when I say this, I only fight because I love it. If I only fought because I thought I was going to be UFC champion, if I wanted anything I would have quit a long time ago. After the miserable performance I had on TUF, and all that stuff, no where in my head did I think, wow, I could easily jump into title contention. I lived in reality at the time, and I knew that either A: I can either quit fighting and hang it up, or B: I can just keep doing it because I love it. I like to fight, and I love that challenge.”

“I’m striving to have one fight that solidifies my name in MMA history like people talk about [Marvin] Hagler and [Thomas] Hearns. I want to have that fight before I get out of mixed martial arts. I don’t need the belt. I don’t need people to say he was the best fighter in the world. I want people to say did you ever see that fight that Marcus Davis was in with so and so? It was probably the best fight that I ever saw. That’s what I want. That’s where I want my legacy to be as a fighter.”

We can only hope a matchmaker can find that “so and so” for Marcus Davis.