BALTIMORE – UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones initially wouldn’t engage when Phil Davis trash talked him in the buildup to Saturday’s UFC 172.
But when Davis (12-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC) lost a decision to the returning Anthony Johnson (17-4 MMA, 8-4 UFC) in the pay-per-view event’s co-headliner, Jones had no problem rubbing it in.
“Phil Davis isn’t happy,” said an ebullient Jones at the post-event press conference. The champ then extended a few high fives to Johnson, who sat across the podium.
Jones (20-1 MMA, 14-1 UFC) had reason to be happy. He extended his title reign to seven defenses with a dominant decision over Glover Teixeira (22-3 MMA, 5-1 UFC). But in the process, he also got a chance to get a little payback against Davis.
UFC 172 took place at Baltimore Arena. The event’s main card aired live on pay-per-view following prelims on FOX Sports and UFC Fight Pass.
Davis went after Jones in several interviews leading up to UFC 172 and this past week turned a media teleconference into a verbal sparring session. He repeatedly jabbed at Jones and his previous performance against his sometime training partner, Alexander Gustafsson, and said he would beat the champ.
In turn, Jones said he wouldn’t get upset by Davis’ remarks and added the fighter was doing himself a disservice by talking about him rather than Johnson. He warned the fighter could embarrass himself if he got knocked out after spitting so much fire in the wrong direction.
Jones made sure to point that out, as well.
“I told him to focus,” he said, referring to yet another run-in at the event’s weigh-ins where Davis tried to butt into his staredown with Teixeira. “I said, ‘Keep talking trash, Phil.’
“I heard you had some good uppercuts,” Jones said to Johnson. “Nice. Congratulations. Yeah. Phil was talking all that greasiness, and now he’s somewhere pouting.”
Davis, who gave an epic pre-fight interview at a media day for UFC 172, tweeted after the fight, “Sorry guys…..(audible sigh) thanks so much for all the support.”
Johnson is bound to break into the light heavyweight division’s top 10. Despite an impressive performance in which he shut Davis down over 15 minutes to win a decision, he said he is a long way from a title fight.
That presented another opportunity for Jones, who invoked UFC President Dana White’s recent comments that questioned Davis’ championship spirit.
“Now you sound like Phil,” Jones said to Johnson. “You’re just happy being a top guy, but you’ve got to want to be the best, like Dana said. Phil’s happy being top four.”
Jones, meanwhile, is unquestionably the No. 1 fighter in the world at light heavyweight, as well as on pound-for-pound lists. If anything, that’s the sweetest revenge.
For complete coverage of UFC 172, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site.