Phil Davis channeled his inner Chael Sonnen on Thursday, April 24, at the UFC 172 media day, ripping UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones to shreds and downright dismissing his next opponent, Anthony Johnson, while fielding questions from journalists at Camden Yards in Baltimore.
Davis is obviously enjoying his new role as "trash talker extraordinaire," as this recent outburst in Baltimore came just days after his thrashing of Jones on an official UFC 172 conference call on Monday, per Steven Marrocco of MMAJunkie.com.
When asked about how a potential bout against Jones would go down, Davis responded without hesitation:
"What I would do is I would charge right across the cage, punch Jon Jones in the face, take him down, beat him up and rip one of his arms off," Davis said. "In fact, I would train with (UFC women's bantamweight champion) Ronda (Rousey) to get her technique down. She has a good armbar. It’s pretty nasty."
It didn't end there, though.
Not even close.
Davis was on a roll, rocking and shuffling in his chair, clearly enjoying his own pomp and bravado.
In Mr. Wonderful's eyes, Jones needs to accept the fact that the future of the UFC's 205-pound division is here in the form of a four-time Penn State Division-I All-American wrestler, and "Bones" needs to cough up the belt now to avoid humiliation later.
"He's (Jones is) the champ, and he needs to learn that I soon will be the champ," Davis said. "So he should probably just either just give it to me, which would be the easiest thing, or he could fight me and he could give it to me that way. Probably the easier way would be to just give it up, just walk over here and say, 'You know what? Honestly, I’m scared. I’m just going to give you the belt.'"
To Davis, a future showdown with Jones is inevitable, and a shred of respect for the current kingpin showed for but a moment during his chat.
I'm hanging Jon jones upside down. But not for the last time. pic.twitter.com/cyzE8CCeq3— Phil Davis (@PhilMrWonderful) April 24, 2014
But—and there's always a but—Davis quickly explained his praise and shot Jones' excellence down before it took flight.
"Thus far, he’s been excellent inside the Octagon, but I will also say this," Davis said. "He’s also fought two guys that weren’t even light heavyweights. Really, though. It’s laughable at best. The fights that he’s had against actual light heavyweights, he’s been so-so. He’s had some ups and he’s had some downs against light heavyweights."
And if Jones doesn't defeat Glover Teixeira at UFC 172 and retain his UFC light heavyweight strap? Davis sees only one explanation for such an occurrence.
"If Jones got beat, that’s just proof that he’s a chicken and he lost to Glover so he didn’t have to fight me next," Davis said.
While Davis' attention was placed firmly upon the top dog at 205, he fights somebody else Saturday evening at UFC 172, somebody named Anthony "Rumble" Johnson, somebody who will make a return to the UFC after knocking out four of his last six opponents.
Johnson is dangerous, but Davis' attention rests elsewhere. When asked about his upcoming showdown with Rumble, Davis responded:
"Sir, how many times do I have to tell you?" Davis said. "Stop bringing up Anthony Johnson. How did we get back on this? We're talking about Jon Jones right now."
Davis eventually conceded that Johnson was a "cool guy," though he couldn't help but question Rumble's merits as a legitimate top UFC light heavyweight combatant.
"He hasn’t fought the top names at light heavyweight, and I’m going to give him his first introduction to what a real light heavyweight does," Davis said. "I honestly think Anthony Johnson has a game that is better suited for heavyweight, but maybe he needs to fight me to realize that."
Whether or not Mr. Wonderful's dismissal of his foe was candid or just for the cameras will prove irrelevant by Saturday evening when the two square off at UFC 172.
When the cage door closes, Davis' words mean nothing, and his fists, knees, elbows and takedowns will spell his fortune.
*Note: All quotes were obtained on site unless otherwise noted.