(You’re gonna want to put some ice on that, Phil. Props: UFC.com)
We can forgive Phil Davis a moment of hubris. At 7-0, dude hasn’t encountered a ton of adversity so far in his fighting career, so when somebody asks him what surprised him the most about transitioning from amateur wrestling to MMA it’s actually sort of cute that his response is essentially: “Man, beating people up? That shit hurts.”
"When you’re at home watching the UFC and you see a guy get elbowed in the face, you think, Oooh, that poor guy, he just got elbowed in the face," Davis says. "But I’m here to tell you, that hurts your elbow. You don’t think it would, but it hurts your elbow. When you calm down, stop sweating, get your shower and change, you will think, Man, my elbow really hurts. I’m telling you. It’s surprising."
Coming from someone a bit more objectionable we might point out that the above quote sounds like standard “famous last words” from a fighter too green to know any better. But Davis seems like a nice guy, he’s probably just playing and as one of the light heavyweight division’s fastest rising stars – a guy with All-American wrestling skills and four stoppages in seven fights – we’re gonna give him a pass on this one. Re-appropriating Paul Orndorff’s nickname on the other hand? That’s going to take some time for us to get over.
Anyway, ever the intrepid reporter, after hearing Davis’ complaint about his aching elbow Fowlkes asks him if he ever stops to think about how the other guy must feel. Since he is an MMA Fighter, the answer is no. No, he never considered that.
"No … well, you know … no. I don’t," Davis says. "I’ll have to ask next time."
Classic. Now, for those of you about to jump all over the comments section with your “lay and pray” acusations – despite what we just said about Davis’ near 60 percent finishing ratio – know this: Davis cares about you and wants to treat you right. He tells Fowlkes here he’s been working hard to become more than just a wrestler. He wants to hurt people and stop them, damage to his elbow be damned. That’s why he was so disappointed that his most recent fight against Rodney Wallace at UFC 117 went the distance.
"I don’t want the fans to think I’m another one of those guys who just lays and prays and does nothing,” Davis says. “I’m more than capable of putting on an entertaining fight, and that one just wasn’t all that entertaining … It just wasn’t a great fight, you know. I just felt like it was kind of an off night. I went out there, did what I needed to do, but I couldn’t get a finish. And I felt like that was a guy I should have gotten a finish on. I left kind of feeling like, I guess I won, but I don’t really feel like a winner."
Davis will try to do better this weekend as he takes on Tim Boetsch at UFC 123.