| Phil Davis is a former NCAA National Wrestling Champion out of Penn State. He’s currently ranked #8 in the world as an MMA light heavyweight fighter. He is currently riding a two-fight winning streak but the accolades are still not enough. Davis is ready for his turn at the top. The UFC Light Heavyweight contender has accepted a fight with the #1 ranked light heavyweight contender, Lyoto Machida, on August 3rd in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil at UFC 163.
Davis, who has displayed some impressive grappling skills throughout his 9 UFC performances, feels that he has the skills and ability to be the best fighter in the world. However, he understands that constant growth and development is what is going to make him a champion one day. That title, however, has to be earned, and the next obstacle standing in his way is the former UFC champion in Machida. So, realizing the task at hand, Davis has enlisted the help of UFC middleweight contender, Yushin “Thunder” Okami.
“I’m having a great camp so far,” Davis said on the most recent edition of “Inside MMA” on AXS TV. “I’ve been training with Yushin Okami. Great fighter, great grappler, excellent southpaw and I’m looking forward to a really great fight camp and really great performance.”
Davis is aware of the unorthodox style that Machida is going to bring to the cage on August 3rd. That doesn’t scare him, though. He knows he’s going to have his hands full and has a lot of preparing to do heading in to this fight.
Not many fighters have been able to figure out the karate-based style that Machida has perfected inside the UFC octagon. Dan Henderson, who is a former multi-time MMA champion, could not solve the puzzle that Machida brought to the cage in his last fight. Davis knows he’ll have to be ready for anything come August 3rd:
“I think Machida brings weapons that no one has ever faced. Every time he fights somebody stuff happens that you just never see,” Davis explained. “He just does stuff that you don’t see from anyone else. He’s just one of those guys, man. He’s a ninja. He’s a ninja.”
Considering that this match up at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Aug. 3, 2013 is between the #1 ranked LHW contender and the #8 ranked contender, the winner of this fight could very well be looking at the next shot at “Bones” Jones sometime toward the end of the year. Machida was already promised a title shot rematch with Jones following his UFC 157 win over Dan Henderson, but his lackluster performance in that fight led him to another title-eliminator fight, this time with the young-gun in Phil Davis.
Davis understands the levity of this fight on the rest of his career and also understands the dangers in fighting such a skilled opponent like Machida. However, he explained that he’s not the only one feeling the heat from this fight:
“There is a lot of pressure on Machida for this fight. He wants that title shot, he absolutely has to win this fight,” he said. “He’s fighting in him hometown of Rio de Janeiro and it’s a lot of pressure going into your hometown and fighting.
“Me, on the other hand, I’m just going to go in there and do what I do. I make things happen and I’m looking for that title shot myself. “
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