On June 24, in the main event of Bellator 180 (which serves as the undercard of the stacked Bellator NYC event), light heavyweight champion Phil Davis will attempt to defend his title against one of the newer members of the Bellator roster, Ryan Bader. The bout will be a rematch of a January 2015 contest, which Bader won by split decision.
This initial fight between the two Bellator light heavyweights, which occurred in Stockholm, Sweden, still stands out as one of the most lacklustre fights in recent memory. For that, Davis wants to apologize.
“I will tell you this, to anybody that watched that [first fight with Bader], sorry,” Davis said on The MMA Hour. “But I will also tell you this, that the fight was aired live on the United States and we were nine hours ahead, so the card started here in Stockholm, Sweden at 4 a.m. You shouldn’t be doing anything at 4 a.m. If you’re driving home at 4 a.m., don’t. If you’re checking emails at 4 a.m., don’t. Don’t do anything except sleep at 4 a.m., that’s what everyone should be doing at 4 a.m., okay?
“There were two schools of thought, and it’s a crap shoot either way. So you could either come out early and get acclimated to the time, and then get up and fight at 4 a.m., which is still dumb, or you could do what I tried — and I just want to preface this with it’s still dumb. So we tried to stay on California time, and we were getting up at 2 a.m. and training at 4 a.m., and trying to stay on Pacific the entire time until the fight happened. But here’s what ended up happening: throughout the week, you have to do a bunch of media obligations with local TV, radio, media scrums and all that stuff. But that’s all at a normal, decent time, 11 a.m., 10 a.m, 1 p.m., and that’s during my sleeping time, so it was just ridiculous and terrible. If I could redo something, I would’ve removed myself from that fight card. It was just hard.”
Do you think Phil Davis’ Bellator 180 rematch with Ryan Bader will be more exciting than their first fight?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/21/2017.