Phil Davis returns from a long stretch of injury-forced inactivity this weekend to face his toughest test to date in former UFC heavyweight champion Rashad Evans. The 26-year-old will be meeting Evans in his tenth professional fight and has been cast as the wide underdog as a result of his opponent’s considerable edge in experience and veteran’s savvy.
That’s okay, though. Davis understands why his opponent is being picked to win and it doesn’t bother him, it’s a position he’s used to. In spite of that, Mr. Wonderful is out to prove that there’s a new sheriff in town, a new top contender in the light heavyweight division.
“There’s absolutely no disrespect. I mean, this man is the outright number one contender and he’s not gonna be the number one contender anymore after this weekend,” Davis said. “(Being the underdog) is what I’m used to in MMA. Everybody I’ve ever fought, ever, has always had more experience and has been training longer and everything like that. These are odds that I’m used to.”
Most predict that Davis’ best shot against Evans is to rely heavily on his collegiate wrestling pedigree, to challenge Suga in the one area where it looks like he has the advantage. During fight week, Evans has made it known that he doesn’t think Davis has a chance even there and that he could beat the younger fighter in a straight-up wrestling match, too.
“Cocaine’s a helluva drug. It’s crazy what the kids do nowadays. I encourage imagination and it’s good that he has that, but no. He’ll never beat me in wrestling. Not thumb wrestling, not anything of the sort.”
Davis and Evans will meet in the main event of UFC on Fox 2, which goes down this Saturday at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. FightLine will be back on the night with our live, ongoing coverage of the event.