by Mitch Gobetz – MMAWeekly.com
Marcus Davis is perhaps the most underrated fighter in the welterweight division right now. A contestant on season two of “The Ultimate Fighter,” he has become one of the most improved fighters in the sport today. When Davis first started in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, he was known mostly as a boxer, but has improved his jiu-jitsu game substantially since.

He will look to continue his ride at UFC 85 against another Ultimate Fighter alumna, Mike “Quick” Swick. Knowing he was going to fight Swick pretty early on, Davis has been preparing for a while.

“I had a feeling the fight was going to happen way back at the UFC that happened at Ohio,” Davis commented. “I had already been offered the contract to fight Mike Swick, and I signed it. Since then, I’ve been focusing on this fight. I’m ready to get in and get it over with.”

Since The Ultimate Fighter, Davis has increased his strength and stamina tremendously and it has shown in his last few fights. The “Irish Hand Grenade” is looking to beef up even more for this fight.

“This is the longest training camp I had ever. I wanted to gain muscle mass. The heaviest I got was 193 pounds, but it was 193 pounds with eight percent body fat.”

This fight will be Swick’s second at welterweight. He earned his first victory in the weight class against Josh Burkman in a lackluster bout. Davis isn’t taking that fight for granted though. He truly believes he will be fighting the toughest Mike Swick ever.

“I haven’t watched that fight since that fight happened. All I’m doing is focusing on what Mark DellaGrotte has told me to do and focusing that I’m fighting the best Mike Swick there’s ever been. I picture that and me winning the fight,” he explained. “This is the most intense training camp I’ve ever had. I keep getting better. I want to keep getting better. If I stop getting better then it’s time to hang it up.”

If both of these fighters’ previous bouts have told us anything, this has all the makings of being a stand-up slugfest. However, Davis is prepared to go to the ground if necessary.

“I think he’s going to initially stand with me, try to use his reach and keep me on the outside. He’ll use the cage to try to stay away from me and as soon as I commit, he’ll try to take me down. I think a lot of people are still wondering if I have a ground game even though my 11 wins, seven of them are by submission. I’m prepared for that. If he doesn’t do that and he wants to bang it out, that’s perfect. I want to go in there and I want to place a bet that my chin will withstand what he has to dish out and his chin will not stand what I have to dish out.”

A quality win over Swick will most certainly propel Davis into the title picture. Even though he isn’t looking past Swick, Davis does have a theory of how this could all play out if he pulls out the victory.

“If I beat Mike Swick, then I’m definitely going to fight one of those guys. If I sit there and I think about it, this is what I think is going to happen. I would end up fighting the winner of the Thiago Alves-Matt Hughes fight and then the winner of that fight would fight the winner of GSP and Jon Fitch. I would like to see Thiago win that fight and then me and Thiago fight. A lot of people said that Thiago is the best stand-up guy. That fight would be one of those fights that people want to see.”

Even though Davis has fought and defeated some very tough competitors in the UFC, a victory over Swick will be his highest profile win and continue to push him one step closer to a title shot. However, Davis isn’t worried about obtaining one.

“I never said I would be UFC champion. The way I’m looking at it now is let me fight the best guys I can, make as much money as I can. If I keep winning, I’m going to get a title shot. Right now, I’m taking one fight at a time and I have a tough obstacle ahead of me.”

As solid of a card as UFC 85 is, this is by far the one with the most “Fight of the Night” potential. Davis and Swick are each known for their fast and relentless pace, as well as their extensive stand-up skills. Due to both of those factors, most fans don’t expect this fight to go the distance – and neither does Marcus Davis.

“I think it’s going to be over in the first round. I’m going to go after him. He’s either going to catch me or I’m going to catch him. I think it’ll end by KO. I don’t think I’ll submit him and I don’t see him submitting me. I don’t shoot on people so he’s going to have to do a jumping Swick-o-tine to get my neck. I’m sticking to my philosophy that I’ll go out there and knock him out in the first. That’s what I’m keeping my fingers crossed for.”