Phil Davis may be one of the world’s elite light heavyweights. But Vinny Magalhaes believes he has another thing coming if he thinks he’s going to win by submission this week.
Magalhaes (10-5 MMA, 1-2 UFC) and Davis (10-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) on Saturday meet on the main card of UFC 159, which takes place at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., and airs on pay-per-view.
Davis, an elite-level wrestler, has made mention that the fight is his for the taking, including by submission if he wants to tap Magalhaes, one of the world’s best jiu-jitsu practitioners. And that, Magalhaes said, is just crazy.
“In an MMA fight, anything can happen,” Magalhaes told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). “But a submission from Phil Davis on me? No way. That’s just ridiculous. For him to think that, he has to be completely insane. Delusional, or insane.”
Davis hasn’t proven to be a slouch on the ground. He has three submissions in his 10 wins, including a bonus for his “Mr. Wonderful” choke of Tim Boetsch at UFC 123. He also tapped out Alexander Gustafsson in the Swede’s second UFC fight – the only loss of Gustafsson’s career.
But Magalhaes contends that when Davis is dominant, it has been against opponents with a different skill set than what he’s bringing to the table on Saturday night.
“All his dominant wins weren’t against guys who have the kind of game I have,” he said. “He won on the ground the way he can’t win against me. There’s no way.”
Magalhaes, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt who took gold at the 2011 Abu Dhabi Combat Club when he outpointed Fabricio Werdum, said he’s never been submitted in a no-gi grappling match. And eight of his 10 career MMA wins have ended with submissions.
So Davis should be pretty clear on what the “TUF 8? runner-up’s game plan is likely to be. But Magalhaes believes he has the edge in more areas than just on the ground.
“I feel there’s so many different ways that I can win this fight,” he said. “It’s not that it’s an easy fight. Phil is a great athlete. There’s a reason why he’s No. 8 in the official rankings. There’s a reason why people think it’s such a mismatch. He’s a great athlete. But there’s so many holes in his game, and I feel like his game is the perfect style for me. If he takes me down, 10 seconds is enough for me to submit him.”
Davis is a 3-to-1 favorite in the fight. But Magalhaes, who comes in on a six-fight win streak of four submissions and a pair of knockouts since his most recent loss more than three years ago, plans to turn the odds – and his detractors – on their ears.
“I’m always on the Internet, and people are saying like, ‘Oh, it’s going to be a sloppy kickboxing match, and then Phil might get a takedown the last few seconds,’” he said. “That’s not how it’s going to go.”
For more on UFC 159, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.
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