Phil Davis is considered one of the top MMA fighters in the world at 205 pounds. Davis hold a professional record of 10-1-1 with impressive wins over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Tim Boetsch. Davis’ only loss came in a unanimous decision against former light heavyweight champion, Rashad Evans. Davis, who wears pink trunks in support of breast cancer, is currently ranked No. 5 in his weight class by Sherdog.com.
Before launching his MMA career in 2008, Davis wrestled at Penn State. He was a four time All-American and captured a national title at 197 pounds in 2008. Davis will step into the Octagon next month on April 27 to take on twitter troll Vinny Magalhaes at UFC 157. Onward State got the chance to catch up with Davis as he prepares for his bout with Magalahes.
Onward State: Why did you get into MMA after college?
Phil Davis: I just didn’t think the Olympic (wrestling) dream was for me. It wasn’t something I was interested in after I was done wrestling. It just wasn’t for me.
OS: What was the transition from wrestling to MMA like?
PD: It was pretty easy. Probably the hardest part was going from something you’re good at to something you’re not really good at. That’s not easy. It’s just staying focused until you’re good at it.
OS: Typically some of the best fighters have strong wrestling backgrounds. How big of an advantage has it been for you in the Octagon and in training?
PD: Yeah, I think that’s usually the case, but I would say that because I’m a wrestler. Just having a wrestling background lets you decid where most of the match takes place and I find that to be pretty valuable.
OS: You had a tough fight with Rashad Evans, did you change how you train or your technique after the fight?
PD: Not really. There wasn’t much to really change. A lot of the time people want to reinvent the wheel when they lose. He had more time in and he was a veteran fighter. He was better at the time. What can I do about it? Stay in the gym and get better.
OS: You’ve dealt with some knee injuries in the UFC and had to miss a couple fights. What’s it like bouncing back from injury and does the UFC put you on a time table for return?
PD: It’s more or less just come back whenever you can. Being a professional athlete, it’s a lot of risk, you know? You depend on your competition for your money. There is a lot of risk associated with being an athlete. It’s not all fun and games, but I definitely wanted to get back as soon as possible.
OS: What is the hardest form of martial arts to learn?
PD: Nothing is really hard. It’s just everything is time consuming. Brazilian Jujitsu , it’s no different. It just takes a lot of time to get used to it. You really have to learn an art form.
OS: So where did the nickname Mr. Wonderful come from?
PD: I had a cat in college and his name was Mr. Wonderful. So I decided to name myself Mr. Wonderful, well not necessarily me, my friends decided to name me Mr. Wonderful after my cat after just after I started fighting.
OS: You’re scheduled to fight Vinny Magalhaes, a guy who was trolling you on Twitter. Why was he bothering you and how did this fight come to be?
PD: He (Magalhaes) really wanted to fight me, so he just started voicing his opinion on Twitter and low and behold, he got his wish.
OS: If you could schedule a matchup between any fighters, across any weight class, what would your dream fight be and why?
PD: I would take Chuck Liddell and Royce Gracie. Number one because Chuck Liddell is the man and I love the dude. Royce Gracie because he was like, from what I remember, the very first time I saw MMA and the first time I saw UFC, Royce Gracie was fighting and he was the man. He was a little dude beating up everybody. I thought that was awesome. It would be a battle of my two legends.
OS: And per the Onward State 10 questions staple, if you were a dinosaur, which dinosaur would you be and why?
PD: I would be a pterodactyl. No real reason, but I just feel like birds are awesome and pterodactyls fly and they eat things. And, uh yeah. I could have gone with Megalodon or something, one of those that might still be alive. I didn’t want to get to geeky here.