Phil Davis was the subject of a bizarre TMZ.com report this past weekend, and the timing of the story couldn’t have been worse. But UFC President Dana White said he’s not buying the complaints against the fighter and remains in full support of the light heavyweight.
“The guy’s in a custody battle for his child,” White said following this past weekend’s post-UFC 159 event. “Those are the kind of things that are going to happen when you’re in a custody battle. You’re never going to see a custody battle that’s sweet. It’s mudslinging. It’s bad.”
Davis (11-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) faced submission ace Vinny Magalhaes (10-6 MMA, 1-3 UFC) at Saturday’s UFC 159 event in Newark, N.J. Davis showed improved striking and capable grappling as he dominated Magalhaes en route to a one-sided unanimous-decision win on the pay-per-view main card.
This past Friday, just a few hours prior to Davis hitting the scale at UFC 159's official fighter weigh-ins, TMZ released details from legal documents that reportedly outlined alleged physical assaults and masochistic sexual encounters between the fighter and his son’s mother, Vantris Patterson. The report claimed that Patterson blamed Davis’ MMA career for his violent tendencies.
“I am afraid that the numerous fights have negatively impacted his mental stability,” Patterson reportedly claimed.
Davis declined to comment on the issue over the weekend in favor of remaining focused on his UFC 159 fight. Afterward, he admitted it was a difficult task.
“It definitely has not been your typical fight week, I’ll tell you that,” Davis told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “It was a little stressful, but I was able to work through it.”
White, who said he immediately reached out to Davis when the TMZ report surfaced, also told the fighter to try to block out the personal distractions prior to his fight.
“When I saw him before the weigh-ins, I said, ‘Dude, don’t let this stuff get into your head, man. Just do your thing,’” White said. “I know his team is really trying to insulate him from it.”
According to TMZ, Davis is expected in court next month, where he and Patterson will continue their custody battle. Patterson has since denied the authenticity of published photos that allegedly show physical damage from the assaults. In short, the entire situation is a little murky, which led White to side with his fighter.
“It was absolutely timed for him to lose, for him to hopefully lose his job and for him to look bad when he goes into court,” White said. “And you know what the thing that I like about him, too, is that when I called, and I’m like, ‘What the hell is going on?’ … he said, ‘You know what? I have nothing to say. I’m not going to say anything bad about her. We already have a date set in court, and a judge will decide who the fit parent is.’
“I’ve never had a bad incident with Phil. Phil’s always a class guy. He’s always super nice. He’s quiet as can be. And this is a domestic issue over their child. The timing was absolutely timed to hurt him.”
For complete coverage of UFC 159, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site.
(Pictured: Phil Davis)