I caught up with one of Bellators top light heavyweight contenders; Phil Davis, to discuss his upcoming hometown scrap with Liam McGeary and to mull over a plethora of other MMA related stuff.
Here’s what he had to say.
How did you get into MMA?
There was some guys who had success in MMA who were former wrestlers, so I just thought man, I’d give it a shot. I thought if these guys could do it, then I could do it.
Apart from wrestling had you any sort of martial arts training before getting into MMA?
I did like a year of karate but I almost don’t want to say it, as it’s disrespectful to the Machida’s out there. Haha, I was just kinda fooling around. So not really.
I see you’re training at 10th planet Jiu Jitsu, is this a new move for you?
You know, they’re a good local gym in my city and you just can’t miss or pass up on good training. They have a lot of good big guys that I just love training with, that have a great game, and I don’t see why with living in the same city that you’d ever pass up on such a good training atmosphere.
How long have you been there for?
Ah, just on and off over the years
The next fight’s in your hometown of San Jose, do you like fighting at home or would you prefer to travel around the world?
I like San Jose, it’s a good venue and a great fight town. It’s kinda a home-game for what I’m used too.
Would you ever be interested in going over to Rizin?
How did you get the nickname ‘Mr. Wonderful’?
So in college I had a cat, and his name was Mr. Wonderful. Now I’m not the guy who’s going to be ‘The Axe Murder’ or something like that. So it was kind of a joke because the cat got stolen at a party my roommate had when I was out of town; so the joke was to keep the name alive, not let Mr. Wonderful die in vain. So it was just a goofy thing that stuck.
This fight’s a rematch with Liam McGeary, do you think it will go down any differently?
I do yes, I think this fight’s going to end a lot quicker. He’s going to want to come out early to try and prove himself to be a much better man than he was the first time, and he’s going to learn quite early on that’s he not. I just think this fight’s going to be a much quicker fight, last time I was able to beat him up really good, and I didn’t finish the fight. This time I really need to finish the fight and solidify my rank over him.
Do you have a prediction for the fight?
Not really. Haha, but I’ll go for round one.
So your number one goal would be to get the belt back I’d imagine?
Absolutely. Absolutely. Absolutely.
Before a fight, what gets you pumped up backstage?
I just like to zone-out. I’m not really the ‘get you pumped up’ type of person. I like to try and control my arousal so that I’m like in focus and ready to do exactly what I need to do. I walk through what I’m going to do like walkout, in the cage [and others etc] in my head.
Outside of fighting do you do anything that’s exciting?
I started a book-club actually, ha-ha; when you said ‘exciting’ I bet you didn’t think that. I have a good group of guys that I work with in the gym and we started a book-club. Outside the cage, I just like being able to continue to grow.