Phil Davis has a pretty funny history when it comes to the questions he’s asked at post fight press conferences.
After defeating Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 112 last year in his second fight for the UFC, a reporter asked him candidly if he was ready for a title shot. Then following his win over Tim Boetsch at UFC 123, he was questioned about if he really had what it took to compete in mixed martial arts and how much longer he felt he could continue in the sport.
Davis takes the questions in stride and answers them as best he can, but he does have to laugh when the oddities keep happening whenever he takes the stage after a win.
Well, one of those questions will be unavoidable if he gets past Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC Fight Night 24 in Seattle on Saturday night. Davis has always taken the wait and see approach when talking about his ascension in the light heavyweight division, but at 8-0 with his first Top 10 opponent up next, the questions about his ranking in the title picture are bound to come up again.
This time, however, if he’s able to get past Nogueira, he’ll understand why that question comes up.
“Now I can’t roll my eyes and act like they’re retarded,” Davis said with a laugh about being asked if he’s ready for a title shot.
Since Davis debuted in the UFC, the other question that always comes up is how he feels he would match up with now champion Jon “Bones” Jones. Both are thought of as the future of the light heavyweight division, and freakish athletes when it comes to their adaptation to MMA.
Jones of course reached the pinnacle of the sport by winning the UFC light heavyweight title just last weekend. So Davis knows the questions about him and Jones squaring off are going to be coming in with a new fervor should he win.
“I could count on one hand the interviews I’ve done where the question hasn’t come up between me and Jon Jones,” Davis told MMAWeekly Radio. “It’s crazy so many people ask me about fighting Jon Jones, and it’s just odd that they choose Jon Jones out of everyone in the division. Like after I fought Brian Stann, they were like ‘oh, you’re going to fight Jon Jones; what do you think about that fight?”
Before Davis will talk about Jones or the title shot, he first wants to focus on the task at hand, and that’s facing Nogueira at UFC Fight Night 24 this weekend.
While Davis has faced some good fighters in the early part of his UFC career, Nogueira is by far the most accomplished. The former NCAA champion from Penn State fully understands how good he is and that’s why his only focus is on the opponent at hand.
“He’s a tough cat; he’s a tough fighter. It’s so hard to game plan for a guy that’s going to… he’s the type of cat you can get him with a trick or two, but it doesn’t matter because he’s so hard to finish, and no matter what, he’s coming at you like a zombie,” he said about Nogueira.
Davis has been training since day one to become a very well rounded fighter. His wrestling credentials are flawless, but he hopes to show off a few new things when he fights Nogueira.
“What it’s going to give me a chance to show off is that when faced with adversity, cause I expect him to really bring a tough fight, I’m going to have to respond and I’m going to be able to come back with more than just the same couple of combinations that I did before that,” Davis explained.
If everything goes as planned, he plans on dominating Nogueira just like he’s done his last few opponents. Then he’s prepared to field any number of random and odd questions from the gallery of reporters in Seattle.
But even he has to admit that a win on Saturday earns him the right to finally answer them.
“This is that one big win that will put me in that inner circle of champions,” said Davis.
Still, he isn’t quite ready to start calling out Jon Jones or anybody else for that matter. If there’s one similarity that Davis and Jones do share, it’s their trust in the UFC to do right by them when it comes to their careers.
“I really don’t know what my next move will be after this fight,” Davis proclaimed. “I’m gonna let Dana White and Joe Silva figure out my next move after this.”
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Damon Martin is the lead staff writer and radio host for MMAWeekly.com.
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