UFC on FOX 2 Fight Card: 5 Things You Need to Know About Phil Davis
This Saturday, Davis will fight on the biggest stage in the sport when he meets Rashad Evans in the main event of UFC on FOX 2. To add to the pressure, a championship fight against 205-pound champion Jon Jones could hang in the balance.
Undoubtedly, Davis' upcoming bout against Evans will be the most important showing of his young MMA career.
Before Davis makes his way to the Octagon for one of the biggest moments of his life, let's take a look at five things that make Davis the fighter he has become today.
We've seen it in the NFL for years, but, inside a cage where two fighters are pouring blood, sweat and tears, Phil Davis' tribute to breast cancer certainly stands out.
In many of his recent fights, Davis has sported the pink shorts as a way to promote breast cancer awareness in his own unique way. Davis has also used pink mouthpieces in past fights.
Davis' shorts have become a part of who he is as a fighter. At this point, it would be more odd to see Davis without his fluorescent shorts than fighting with them.
Nicknamed After a Cat
Before every one of Phil Davis' fights, Bruce Buffer introduces the light heavyweight fighter as "Mr. Wonderful," but where does that nickname come from?
The name originated from a cat Davis owned while at college. After the cat, which was named Mr. Wonderful, was lost, Davis adopted the cat's nickname as a tribute.
On the bright side, I think it's safe to say Davis won't be taking as much flak as most men would for being a cat owner.
Alliance MMA Product
Phil Davis began his MMA training at now-defunct LionHeart MMA, but most of Davis' progression as a fighter has taken place under coach Lloyd Irvin and Alliance MMA.
Home to fighters like UFC bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz, Brandon Vera, Alexander Gustafsson, Travis Browne and Mike Easton, Alliance MMA is becoming one of the best places for MMA fighters to conduct their training camps.
It was with Irvin that Davis became a jiu-jitsu blue belt and really began to become a true, well-rounded mixed martial artist.
World Jiu-Jitsu Champion
Wrestlers often transition well into the jiu-jitsu aspect of MMA, but Phil Davis has done much more than simply learn enough to avoid being submitted.
In 2009, Davis decided to test his new skills at the No-Gi World Jiu-Jitsu Championships. Competing in the 221-pound blue belt division, Davis destroyed all competition in front of him, submitting two of his three opponents within two minutes. At the end of the tournament, Davis stood atop the division's podium.
In five UFC fights, Davis' jiu-jitsu skills have already shined brightly. Davis has already recorded two submission victories and even unveiled his own modification of a kimura in a victory over Tim Boetsch.
Prior to launching a career in MMA, Phil Davis was an extremely successful amateur wrestler.
Competing in the 197-pound weight class for all four of his years at Penn State University, Davis earned All-American honors in all four years of eligibility. In his final year of collegiate wrestling, Davis defeated Wynn Michalak to become an NCAA champion.
Early in his MMA career, Davis has used his high-level wrestling ability to take his fights to the ground, where he is still much more comfortable than on his feet, having only started working on his striking three years ago.