Number four-ranked UFC light-heavyweight Phil Davis has long been considered one of the best 205 pounders around. ‘Mr Wonderful’ is currently booked in to welcome Anthony Johnson back to the UFC, and is riding a three fight win streak heading in to the UFC 172 clash.
Davis was the first man to defeat title challenger Alexander Gustafsson, and remains the only man to ever finish ‘The Mauler’. Going in to his match with ‘Rumble’, Davis had some comments regarding the returning Johnson while on The MMA Hour:
“All the top guys in the division had fights, so it only makes sense that I get someone around the top 10. He (Johnson) was a top-level guy in the UFC, so he was even tougher for the guys outside the UFC. He’s a tough cat, but I’m going to take it to him.”
Johnson went on a violent knockout spree during his stint outside Zuffa, and it would it would make sense for Davis to work on his striking for ‘Rumble’. Formerly a NCAA wrestler, ‘Mr Wonderful’ says he has worked on his stand up game:
“A lot of time people complain, they say ’I want to see you knock someone out’, and I’ve got to give the fans that. I’m working on that, I want to be the best fighter in the world. You have to knock someone out to get a title shot, so I’m working on that.”
Title shots in the UFC are very hard to come by, but if Davis continues his win streak he could well find himself in the frame. The talk then turned to 205-pound champ Jon ‘Bones’ Jones
“I don’t dislike Jon Jones so much, I’ve been misquoted a couple times. I think Jones is a soft bread cookie. He’s sweet, but when I get my hands on him he is going to crumble. He can try calling shots all he wants, but I’m not going anywhere and his time is coming.”
Jones and Davis have exchanged words plenty of times in the past, and its worth noting Davis is a lot more vocal than he used to be. He continued:
“Lyoto Machida is a great fighter, and he deserves the title shot at middleweight. He is yet another guy that I sent down to another division, another guy that lost to me who gets a title shot. I don’t understand any of the rankings. ”
Time will tell if Davis has what it takes to get to the title, but an impressive win against Johnson would be a very hard thing for Joe Silva and co. to ignore. Do you think his striking will be up to the standard of the heavy-handed ‘Rumble’ on April 26?