In August, UFC light heavyweight Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis, went into a fight with Wagner Prado, a highly touted prospect out of Brazil who was making his promotional debut. But things didn’t go as planned in the fight on the UFC on FOX card, Phil Davis inadvertently poked Prado in the eye and the fight was ruled a No Contest when Prado could not continue. Now, the two will rematch at UFC 153 on October 13 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil at the HBSC Arena. Davis told MMA Fight Corner that he’s pumped to get back in there and redeem himself.
“I’m always excited to get back in there, always excited, especially on this one. I still look back at the UFC on FOX 4 and I’m like ‘What the heck happened?’” I can’t believe I poked this guy in the eye. I gotta get back in there and set the record straight.”
Wagner Prado stood at 8-0 overall coming into their first fight. Though Davis admitted he’s not much of a tape watcher and their first fight didn’t go as planned, Davis said he feels he’s done enough to sum up Prado’s general skill set.
A four-time NCAA division one wrestler, Davis said there’s no point in over-analyzing Prado’s style. Basically he feels that once you get in the Octagon, it’s a whole different story, no matter what’s on tape. “I’m a national champion wrestler, he’s not gonna come at me like that. The stuff he does against those guys is not gonna be what he tries against me. And the bottom line is, anything that happened in those fights, ain’t gonna be what happens in my fight, so you might as well not even watch those tapes.”
Additionally, Davis joked that the initial sheet that came out with Prado’s physical stats, were nothing compared to what he appeared like in person. “I don’t know where this came from, but before my fight with Prado the first time, the stats on him were something like dude’s 6’4”, he’s a kickboxer, he’s got a 93 inch reach. I was like man, this guy sounds like he’s built like a machine, this guy’s a piece of work. Man, this guy is about as tall as Rashad.”
But for Davis, Rashad Evans was the first professional loss of his career. Following the Rashad loss, Davis ended up with the No Contest against Prado, suffice to say it’s been a tough year for Mr. Wonderful. But, Davis isn’t looking to dwell on any of the adversity he’s had come his way this year.
“Losses they will happen. My thing is if you go through my wrestling resume, or my fighting resume, I haven’t lost to any bums. Anybody that’s pretty darn good has beaten me and I’ve beaten tons of more guys that are pretty good. Losses will happen, fluke eye pokes and things they will happen too. But, it’s one of those things, I’ve been competing for a long time, and when bad things happen, you just stay in the gym, stay focused and just remind yourself what you’re doing it for, why you love it. You just don’t stay down. You know sometimes people have bad luck, but I’m just not one of those people.”
Once Davis steps into the Octagon for this rematch, he has absolutely no intention of leaving the fight in the hands of the judges. “I’m not going to leave it to the judges in Brazil – that’s all I’m gonna say. The judges are going to have an easy night. At the end of my night they’re going to say ‘Hmmm he’s not standing up, I’m gonna say Phil won.’”
For this fight, like any other Davis has had in the UFC, he’s trained at Alliance MMA in San Diego, CA. Amongst his teammates, UFC Bantamweight Champion, Dominick Cruz who’s sidelined until he recovers from a torn ACL. Davis updated Cruz’s status and said that Dominick is making strides in his recovery everyday.
“Dominick, he’s well. He’s comin along, he’s coming along well. He’s not at like Dominick speed right now, he’s more like Phil Davis speed,” Davis stated. “Dominick speed, I can’t even explain how fast that is. Right now he’s cruisin’ around at Phil Davis speed.”
As for other prospects at Alliance, Davis added that there is one UFC light heavyweight training among them who could be capable of taking down UFC Light Heavyweight Champ Jon Jones in the near future. When asked who he thought would be most capable of giving the champ a run for his money, Davis didn’t name himself.
“I hope my teammate fights him next, Alexander Gustafsson. The dude’s a monster. He’s a beast man and I think he deserves a title shot right now. But I’m not the guy in charge, I don’t make no shots, I don’t call no shots, I just play the game.” “I think Alex – he’s a tough contender man.”
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