As a bank robber lays on the ground and reaches for his shotgun just a few inches away, Eastwood’s character “Dirty” Harry Callahan pulls back the hammer on his gun, stares back at the man with a certain steely glaze, and delivers the famous line “Do I feel lucky? Well, do you punk?” while never raising his voice an octave.
It was that kind of emotionless blank look that had the robber scared straight in that moment, and it’s the same type of demeanor that Phil Davis carries with him into his fight this weekend at UFC on Fox 2 against Rashad Evans.
Like Eastwood’s character in the movie who isn’t easily rattled, Davis refuses to let Evans get into his head before the fight with any comment he might make.
On the day the fight was introduced in Chicago, Evans and Davis sat on opposite sides of a table answering questions from reporters when the two fighters engaged in a little back and forth, when some trash talk started flying.
Evans, in the eyes of many, crossed the line when he prodded Davis, who was a graduate of Penn State University, when referencing the recent case of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.
“I’m going to put those hands on you worse than that dude did to them other kids at Penn State,” Evans said.
It was a controversial comment to say the least, but Davis wasn’t phased and didn’t let Evans get into his head, even with a jab aimed at landing an emotional response.
“More than anything I was just like there’s nothing really to say next, moving on. It was just weird to hear that comment,” Davis said to MMAWeekly Radio. “I think he was trying to hype the fight and that’s pretty much all I have to say about that.”
After that comment was buried, Evans again came after Davis when talking about his wrestling pedigree. Both fighters wrestled at prominent colleges, Davis moving on to win the NCAA title. Evans seemed like he was trying to goad the former champion into a stand-up battle by suggesting that there was a contest looming on which fighter would go for a takedown first.
“I’ll bet anything he’ll definitely be the first to shoot in on me,” Evans told FightHype.com.
Davis knew right away what Evans was trying to do, and in his best Harry Callahan voice, he simply did not care.
“You can’t psych me out of my game, if that’s what he was trying to do,” said Davis. “I have a game plan, and nobody can talk me out of that. That includes everything. I’m not going to do just one thing. There’s nobody in the UFC that I can look at and say ‘you know what, I’m 100-percent just going to stand with you, I’m 100-percent just going to do jits with you, I’m 100-percent going to wrestle you.’
“No way. I’m going to beat you with everything, I’m going to beat you everywhere.”
It’s the exact same approach that Davis carries whenever talk about the light heavyweight title race comes up. Rashad Evans has been guaranteed the next shot at champion Jon Jones should he win on Saturday night in Chicago.
If Evans loses, the title shot most likely goes to former Strikeforce champion Dan Henderson. Meanwhile, Davis somehow became the forgotten contender, but it doesn’t bother him one ounce.
“It’s kind of whatever happens. If I do get a title shot, cool. If I don’t, then I’ll have to win another fight or two. It’s one of those things, you’re not guaranteed anything,” Davis commented.
“I really don’t (care). I think winning will put you in the same position every time, you’ll either be next or next in line. If you look at what happened in Rashad’s case, he won his fight to be No. 1 contender, and yet he’s fighting me, and yet he fought Tito.”
The truth is Phil Davis won’t be rattled by Rashad Evans’ words, and he won’t be rattled if he wins on Saturday and isn’t handed the keys to the kingdom in the form of a light heavyweight title shot.
Don’t even be surprised if Davis stares Evans down with that same icy glare, and utters another famous phrase from Eastwood’s on screen character.
“Go ahead, make my day.”