(Props to The Collegian.)
“There’s no transitive property of what you’re good at,” says Phil Davis. “What makes you good is your attitude about it and how you carry yourself and your work ethic.”
A former Division I National Champion wrestler at Penn State University, Davis took up MMA on a dare and found himself booked opposite former WEC Light Heavyweight Champion Brian Stann at UFC 109. The four-time All-American will be fighting for just the fifth time professionally when he enters the Octagon at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on Feb. 6.
Davis doesn’t expect to be a great mixed martial artist, at least not without putting in the necessary work.
“I’m learning a good bit, just straight technique,” says the MMA neophyte. “Technique, taking” classes, learning next to people who are 40-years-old just walking into a fight gym never trained in their life. Sometimes that’s exactly what I need because that’s pretty much where I started except at 25 [or] 24.
The hardest part isn’t adjusting to striking or jiu-jitsu insists the 25-year-old: it’s simply getting up every morning and staying healthy through rigorous training sessions. Logging countless gym hours in the seven months since his last bout, Davis claims he doesn’t know the sport.
“I know wrestling. That’s what I know. I don’t know MMA,” he said. In fact, Davis didn’t know fighting at all until began training.
“I’m not one of those guys that has natural hands, I didn’t grow up on the streets thuggin’ it out, punching it out with everybody, everybody that wanted a go. That’s not what I did,” he says.
The wrestler knows that amateur titlists carry big expectations into the cage but he wants fans and observers to temper their expectations of his UFC debut.
“You can expect a good fight. You can expect Phil Davis and Brian Stann to be there. You can expect to see me in some spandex,” he said.