Phil Davis has been on the sidelines recovering from a knee injury suffered in his training camp for UFC 133.
The UFC light heavyweight contender was all set to meet Rashad Evans in the main event of UFC 133, but was forced out and replaced by Tito Ortiz.
Evans went on to defeat Ortiz, cementing his status as No. 1 contender to the belt. His performance didn’t go unnoticed by Davis (9-0).
“I thought Rashad looked real good. He looked sharp, nice and fit,” Davis said. “You can tell he trained hard for this fight and I think he was satisfied with a pretty good win.
“It didn’t look like the layoff effected him.”
Davis, a former Penn State University wrestler, will try to duplicate Evans’ recent run, as he looks to get back in the gym and start training soon.
“I would love to say that I will be fighting again before the end of the year, but I don’t want to force myself back in the gym and risk further injury.
“I am healing up nicely right now and am just staying on my therapy. Hopefully, everything goes as planned.”
Davis’ last fight was the biggest win of his career, as he topped Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in the main event at UFC Fight Night: Nogueira vs. Davis in March.
Rumors started to float in the build to his planned fight with Evans that he might force his way into title-contender talk with a win over the former champion. But for Davis, he prefers to leave all that stuff alone.
“I don’t know (where I am ranked),” Davis said. “I never know where I am at, I just go out and fight people.”
One possible “dream” fight for Davis involves the long-time head football coach at Penn State, Joe Paterno. Paterno is the all-time wins leader in FBS and is 84 years old. Recently, he was injured while running a preseason practice.
“That is nothing new to ‘JoePa’ (in regards to getting hit on the sidelines),” Davis said. “He’s a beast. He’s like Randy Couture. He just comes back older and stronger every year, like Benjamin Button.
“I think he might move around too much for (UFC bantamweight champion) Dominick Cruz if they fought,” Davis laughed.