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Tag: Phil Davis

While You Were Out: UFC Light-Heavyweight Division is Still F*cked and Everyone is Still Pissed

(We just can’t stay mad at this guy. PicProps: MMA Space)
Not to distract you from your busy morning of eulogizing Fedor Emelianenko, but we feel compelled to remind everyone that Scott Coker isn’t the only MMA impresario who woke up Monday with a pounding headache. Remember that when we left the UFC last Friday, the butterfly effect from Rashad Evans’ knee injury was causing near-seismic shifts in the vaunted light heavyweight division? Yeah, we don’t think that got solved over the weekend.

Let’s see if we can get this goddamned soap opera straight: Evans tweaked his knee a couple weeks ago and instead of pushing his scheduled title bout with Mauricio “Shogun” Rua back a few months to give Rashad time to rehab, Dana White took a flamethrower to the entire 205-pound title picture. In one fell swoop he gave Evans’ title shot to Jon Jones, pulled Quinton “Rampage” Jackson out of a scheduled fight with Thiago Silva at UFC 130 and quashed entirely the idea of having Matt Hamill fight Phil Davis at UFC 129. Smooth move, guy. Now the matchup merry-go-round is whirling out of control and everybody is pissed.

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Fight Booking Smorgasbord: Davis vs. Hamill, Rampage vs. Thiago Silva Reportedly On Tap


("I’ll take Gilbert Godfried for the win, Joe." PicProps: UFC.com)

Those of you who were paying attention to Phil Davis’ Twitter account this week (and really, why wouldn’t you be?) already knew that the light heavyweight up-and-comer recently inked a bout agreement he was just dying to tell us all about. Now, it seems he won’t have to. Those damned internet websites are at it again, citing “sources close to the event” saying that Davis will take on Matt Hamill at the already stacked UFC 129 in Toronto. And why not? Hamill’s the dude the UFC traditionally likes to run up against its 205-pound prospects (and sometimes, its 205-pound graybeards) to see what they’ve really got in the tank. Makes sense to us.

Also on the horizon, it’s reported that fresh off showing his lack of social skills against Brandon Vera at UFC 125, Thiago Silva will step in the cage against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC 130. Both guys are coming off wins and it’s conceivable that the winner of that bout could be added to an ever-growing list of title contenders at 205-pounds.  But wait, that’s not all. After the jump some other alleged upcoming dates in the Octagon.

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Warriors on the Rise: 2010′s Breakout Fighters

Every year, a handful of MMA fighters ascend from obscurity to contendership, from prospect status to championship gold — from nothing to something. In honor of The Warrior’s Way, which hits theaters next Friday, we’d like to salute MMA’s breakout class of 2010, whose careers exploded this year, and who are all poised for even larger accomplishments in 2011.

PHIL DAVIS
Phil Davis UFC
Notable 2010 victories: Brian Stann (unanimous decision, UFC 109), Alexander Gustafsson (submission R1, UFC 112), Tim Boetsch (submission R2, UFC 123)

Between his pink shorts, action-figure physique, and aggressive grappling, Mr. Wonderful has become an unmistakable figure in the UFC’s light-heavyweight division. A year ago, he was a relatively unknown 4-0 prospect trying to re-invent himself as a cage-fighter after a brilliant collegiate wrestling career at Penn State, which culminated in a 2008 NCAA title. Davis made his Octagon debut this February, and has since sent four straight opponents back to the drawing board, beginning with former WEC champ Brian Stann, and ending with a Submission of the Night performance against Tim Boetsch. Having proven himself against gritty veterans and promising rookies, we’re about to find out if Davis can keep his dominant run going against the next level of UFC contenders.

COURT McGEE
Court McGee UFC Ultimate Fighter 11 TUF winner trophy glass
Notable 2010 victories: Kris McCray (submission R2, TUF 11 Finale), Ryan Jensen (submission R3, UFC 121)

Court McGee’s life is an object lesson in never, ever giving up, no matter how dire the circumstances. A former drug-addict who was declared clinically dead after an overdose in 2005, McGee got clean and devoted his life to MMA. His stint on The Ultimate Fighter 11 this year was almost cut short after he lost a bum decision to Nick Ring, but McGee re-entered the competition as an injury replacement, and went on to choke out James Hammortree, Brad Tavares, and Kris McCray to earn the season’s middleweight trophy. In his first post-TUF test at UFC 121, he survived getting bombed out on by Ryan Jensen in the first round, and turned the momentum around when Jensen began to fade in round two. In the end, Jensen was tapping like the rest of them, and Court McGee had secured his reputation as one of toughest (and most likable) bastards TUF has ever produced.

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Armchair Matchmaker: UFC 123 Edition

Bruce Buffer UFC 123 jump
(Seriously, who let that mouse into the Octagon? Props: UFC.com)

Here’s what we know: BJ Penn and George Sotiropoulos already have dates at UFC 127 in Australia. Karo Parisyan has been fired (again), and Matt Brown will surely be let go as well after suffering his third-consecutive submission loss. (Tyson Griffin also lost his third-straight on Saturday, but will remain in the promotion, as the judges’ decision in his fight against Nik Lentz was utter horseshit.) So where do UFC 123‘s other winners and losers go from here? As usual, we have a few suggestions…

Quinton Jackson: This one’s fairly obvious, assuming that nobody really wants to see an immediate rematch between Jackson and Machida. Rampage should get the winner of Jon Jones vs. Ryan Bader at UFC 126. The winner of that fight gets a title shot. Bada-bing, bada-boom.

Lyoto Machida: Once an unstoppable force in the light-heavyweight division, it’s now been a year and a half since the Dragon has put on a dominant performance against anybody. At this point, the UFC needs to re-build Machida against a mid-level contender. Give him Matt Hamill, who deserves a step up after handling Keith Jardine and Tito Ortiz. Alternately, you could throw Machida in against Randy Couture, and see if the Natural’s gift for game-planning can carry him through against the Dragon. Of course, that matchup might not be pointless enough for Randy, so don’t get your hopes up.

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Phil Davis Says Elbowing People in the Face Can Really Hurt Your Elbow


(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.”

Davis breaks it down for our man Ben Fowlkes over at MMA Fighting thusly:

"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."

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‘Sho Nuff’ vs. ‘Mr. Wonderful’ Added to UFC 117

Phil Davis UFC MMA
(Phil Davis: Athletic, explosive, and built like some sort of alien.)

Due to an injury suffered in training, undefeated Bulgarian prospect Stanislav Nedkov will not be taking on Rodney "Sho Nuff the Master" Wallace at UFC 117 (August 7th, Oakland). Stepping up on two weeks’ notice to face Wallace will be another exciting light-heavyweight, Phil "Mr. Wonderful" Davis.

Davis (6-0) has posted two consecutive victories during his time in the Octagon, scoring a lopsided unanimous decision against Brian Stann in his debut, and choking out Alexander Gustafsson in his latest appearance. Since the former NCAA wrestling champ has a growing amount of hype behind him, it seems somewhat odd that he would risk his momentum to take a short notice fight against an opponent who’s beneath him on the light-heavyweight ladder. (Although it’s never really a bad idea to pick up cage experience and an extra paycheck while scoring valuable brownie points with the UFC.)

Unlike Davis’s success in the Octagon, Wallace (9-2) has had a rough time of it so far, suffering back-to-back decision losses to Brian Stann and Jared Hamman. In other words, he needs a win here to save his job. Lotsa luck, bro.

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UFC 112 Preliminary Card Results and Bonuses

Damarques Johnson Brad Blackburn UFC 112
(DaMarques Johnson turns the tables on Brad Blackburn. Photo courtesy of allelbows.)

Since UFC 112 featured two title fights that both went the distance in completely baffling fashion, we didn’t get to see much preliminary card action, with the exception of Phil Davis’s first-round stoppage of Alexander Gustafsson. Here’s how the dark matches shook out…

– Phil Davis def. Alexander Gustafsson via submission (anaconda choke), 4:55 of round 1. 
– Rick Story def. Nick Osipczak via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
– DaMarques Johnson def. Brad Blackburn via TKO, 2:08 of round 3
– Paul Kelly def. Matt Veach via submission (guillotine choke), 3:41 of round 2
– Jon Madsen def. Mostapha Al Turk via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

With three straight losses, Al Turk is definitely heading to the scrap yard after this one, while Blackburn and Veach may also be in trouble after suffering their second-consecutive defeats. But enough about those poor losers. Blackburn’s opponent DaMarques Johnson picked up a $75,000 Knockout of the Night bonus for putting Bad Brad away with a body kick in the third round of their fight after getting handled for most of the first two frames. Rafael Dos Anjos was awarded the Submission of the Night bonus for his armbar of Terry Etim, while the Fight of the Night was given to Mark Munoz and Kendall Grove for their two-rounder, which Munoz won via TKO after almost getting finished repeatedly in round one.

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‘Mr. Wonderful’ to Return on Short Notice Against Alexander Gustafsson

Phil Davis Brian Stann UFC 109
(As any rider could tell you, it’s the longest eight seconds of your life. Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

Just two months after his dominant UFC debut against Brian Stann at UFC 109, Phil "Mr. Wonderful" Davis (5-0) will reportedly return to the Octagon at UFC 112 (April 10th, Abu Dhabi), to face Swedish slugger Alexander Gustafsson (9-0). Gustafsson made his own UFC debut at #105, where he knocked out Jared Hamman in 41 seconds. (Video of that fight is after the jump, in case you don’t remember it.) It seems like the UFC wants to waste no time in fast-tracking one of these guys into light-heavyweight contendership, at the expense of the other.

For the record
, Davis ideally wanted to make his next UFC appearance in June, and graded his performance against Stann a B-. "I’d say that I need to refine everything," Davis told MMAFighting.com. "I can’t really say I need to do better at just this or that. I think my standup needs to get better, I think my wrestling needs to get better, I think my jiu-jitsu needs to get better, and I think I need to work at being more explosive." [Ed. note: No comment.]

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UFC 109: The New Guys


(Rolles Gracie vs. Sam Holloway, 9/20/07)

A quick look at the four fresh talents who will be hunting for success in the Eight-Sided Shape on Saturday night…

PHIL DAVIS (LHW)
Experience: 4-0 record (3 wins by first-round stoppage) in various regional leagues. Last competed in June ’09, choking out David Baggett at a UCFC event in Pittsburgh.
Will be fighting: Brian Stann (8-2, 2-1 UFC)
Lowdown: They call him "Mr. Wonderful." A four-time All-American and 2008 Division I National Wrestling Champion for Penn State, Davis began his MMA education with Greg Jackson before moving to San Diego, where he now works out with Brandon Vera at the Alliance Training Center. His fighting mentality was instilled in him from an early age, as he had to scrap with his two older brothers for two available seats at their family’s dinner table. By the age of 12, Davis was “eating dinner almost every night.” [Ed. note: Wow, that's kind of fucked up.] Davis thinks it’s pretty cool that Brian Boitano gets roses thrown at him after his performances, and would like that to happen for him someday.

RONNYS TORRES (LW)
Experience: 14-1 record (12 wins by stoppage), with all fights taking place in Brazilian leagues including Shooto Brazil and Jungle Fight.
Will be fighting: Melvin Guillard (22-8-1 with 1 no-contest, 5-4 UFC)
Lowdown: Due to a series of injuries, Torres has been out of action since September 2008, when he scored a first-round submission over Eliene Silva at Jungle Fight 11; Torres was originally supposed to face Guillard last April.  The Nova Uniao prospect with the oddly-pluralized first name has had to cut over 30 pounds to make the lightweight limit. He plans on making his cage-entrance to gospel music. "It is step by step that I will arrive to the top," Torres says. "I only ask that God illuminates me."

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UFC Fight Booking Roundup: Rumble vs. Doomsday, Almeida vs. Brown + More

John Doomsday Howard tweet Anthony Crumble Johnson
(Oh. Snap. Image courtesy of twitter.com/johnhowardufc)

— As first mentioned on John "Doomsday" Howard‘s Twitter page, a scrap between Howard and frequent eye-poke recipient Anthony "Rumble" Johnson is nearly set for UFC Fight Night 21 (March 21st, Denver), which will be the UFC’s first broadcast on the Versus network. According to an MMA Junkie report, the matchup was originally planned for last June at the TUF 9 finale, but Howard’s management reportedly turned it down because they didn’t want Doomsday facing such a tough test so early in his career; Johnson has since publicly criticized Howard for the ducking. Howard (13-4) is currently 3-0 in the UFC, and most recently scored a last-second knockout over Dennis Hallman at the TUF 10 finale in December. Johnson (8-3, 5-3 UFC) had a three-fight win streak snapped in November when he was submitted by Josh Koscheck at UFC 106.

— Speaking of welterweights, Ricardo Almeida and Matt Brown are set to get it on at UFC 111 (March 27th, Newark). Following back-to-back decision victories over Matt Horwich and Kendall Grove, Almeida was slated to take on Jon Fitch at 106, but had to withdraw due to a knee injury. He’ll now face off against "The Immortal," who has stopped his last three opponents, most recently TUF 9 winner James Wilks at UFC 105.

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