Rising light heavyweight prospect Phil Davis further improved his stock in the 205lbs. division last night by defeating crafty veteran Antonio Rogerio Nogueira via unanimous decision.
Davis struggled to find the holes in “Little Nog’s” offense early on, but adjusted well and clearly earned his unanimous decision victory. Courtesy the fact that Davis is already being heralded by many as the man to defeat champion Jonny “Bones” Jones, some were disappointed that he didn’t make easier work of Nogueira.
In reality, Davis showed improving ability and increased tactical awareness as well as grit in adjusting to a tough-to-dispatch opponent and finding the win. Davis is a talented and promising work in progress; he knows that and wants to travel an according path.
“Pretty much everyone I’ve ever fought has had more experience than I have in fighting,” Davis said at last night’s post-fight press conference (props to MMAFighting.com). “So just going through four fights in one year in the UFC has put me in a place where everyone is a lot more experienced than I am, so I just need to make sure I’m giving myself enough time to develop as a fighter.”
Though he’d like more time before fighting for the title, Davis explained that he’s willing to face anyone the UFC puts in front of him at any time.
“Listen, if Dana says fight ’em, I fight ’em,” he said. “If he says get ’em, I got ’em. If he don’t say get ’em, I don’t got ’em.”
Rather than grow tired or offended at the comparisons made between himself and the 23-year old champion, “Mr. Wonderful” takes the ascribed expectations as a compliment — just don’t expect him to start imitating Mr. Jones anytime soon.
“I’m not annoyed at all. I like that people bring me up when Jon Jones comes up,” said Davis. “You just have to make sure that you let people know that…I don’t want to be walking in his shadow. Then people have the same expectations for me as they have for him. We have different styles. He’s his own fighter and I’m my own.”