Phil Davis Vs. Jon Jones: Davis Says the Fight Is Inevitable
When the top two prospects in the sport enter the world’s biggest promotion at about the same time, fans will clamor to see the fighters square off.
This will soon become the case with UFC light heavyweights Jon Jones and Phil Davis. Both are virtually undefeated (Jones has one controversial loss to Matt Hamill in a fight Jones was dominating). Both are freakishly athletic, and both have never been through any adversity at all in the Octagon.
“Jon Jones is awesome,” Davis said about his potential rival. “He’s doing it right now. He’s just tearing through cats.”
While Jones has shown all around skills en route to his 11-1 record, Davis has mainly shown off his amateur wrestling skills to get to 7-0 (3-0 UFC). He was a four time NCAA All-American while at Penn State University.
But Davis quickly recognized that he needed to work on other aspects of his repertoire. So much so that he even asked the UFC for a year off to improve. At first, the UFC agreed.
“Yes on all accounts,” Davis said when asked if wanted a break from the cage to better prepare for the future. “I was going to take some time off, and I asked if I could just relax for a year. Is that cool? They said, ‘yeah, that’s cool.’ Then, I get a phone call—you’re fighting on November 20th. Be there.”
His break was much shorter than expected, as he only had three months off. However, Davis was able to spend some time developing as a fighter. He wants to be more than just a wrestler.
“Wrestling does not make you a good fighter,” Davis said. “If you are a good fighter, wrestling makes you a great fighter. You have to be able to evolve as a fighter. Just being good at wrestling will not bring me to the top of MMA.”
Davis has an idea of what he believes the perfect fighter is.
“I’d like to have knockout rate of Chuck Liddell, the takedown rate of GSP (Georges St. Pierre), and the submission game of BJ Penn,” Davis said. “Basically, I want it all. Trying to take over the world here—one fight at a time.”
The one-fight-at-a-time approach leads him into his next match-up. Davis will take on tough brawler Tim Boetsch this Saturday night.. The fight will air on the pay-per-view broadcast of UFC 123.
“Tim Boetsch is what I like to call a typical Pennsylvanian,” Davis said “He’s tough. He won’t quit. He’s strong.”
Boetsch has had a mildly successful run as he has a UFC record of 3-2 (12-3 overall). Davis is not taking the veteran lightly.
“I’m prepared to go three rounds with the guy,” the 2008 NCAA champion said. “I’m not even thinking about a first round finish. He’s not going to be easy. He’ll be swinging hard every time. That’s what I’m prepared for.”
Even though Davis sees a tough fight ahead of him, the odds makers do not agree. Davis is presently listed as a 1:6 favorite.
Being a favorite over a guy with eight more fights should not be a surprise to Davis. He has been fast-tracked to success in MMA right from the start. He jumped to the UFC after only four fights.
“I’m lucky,” Davis said about his quick rise. “How could someone else do it? I don’t know. I have no idea how I get here so fast, but I’m doing it.”
One of the reasons Davis jumped to the UFC after only fourteen months in the sport is that he could not find opponents elsewhere.
“It was tough finding fights on the smaller shows,” Davis said. “There are a lot of people that talk a big talk, but they won’t necessarily fight you.”
Davis understands why that happened.
“When I think about it, I really can’t blame them. When you see that you are completely outmanned in wrestling and you look at some of my other fights on YouTube, it’s like ‘wow, this guy is going to pick me up and slam me. I can’t stop him. Then, he’s just going to beat me up’.”
As a result, Davis joined the UFC, where he has maintained his unblemished record. Still, Davis always has mixed emotions before stepping into the cage.
“I feel good,” Davis said when asked how he felt a few days before the bout. “I feel confident. I feel relaxed. Usually right around weigh-ins is when I start to freak out and think, 'damn, I’m gonna fight.'”
Should Davis overcome and be successful against Boetsch, he will move one step closer to the top of the UFC light heavyweight division. With a few more wins, he could very well be in title contention.
One of the guys waiting for him will likely be Jones.
“He’s headed for the top,” Davis said about the man nicknamed “Bones”. “I know he’s going to get there. When I get myself to the top level of MMA, I’m sure Jon will still be there, and he’ll be beating folk up.”
He knows they are on a collision course.
“Later on down the road when we’re both at the top, we’ll meet up.”
While Davis would not give any predictions on how he thought a fight with Jones would go, he does give a small hint about where he believes his career is headed.
“My future includes winning,” Davis said. “Losing isn’t factored in. I’m going to be at the top one day, and I’m going to be champion of the world.”
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