Phil Davis wants light heavyweight title back, only blames self for losing it

Derrick Santistevan

Phil Davis (image by means of Bellator)

Phil Davis is prepared to reclaim the Bellator light heavyweight title.

Since his relocate to Bellator MMA in 2015, Phil Davis has consistently been one of the top light heavyweights — arguably the top, consistent presence at light heavyweight — in the promotion. But he lost the championship in 2017, and once the promotion begins running events again later this year, he’ll look to put on a performance to state that he deserves a crack at regaining the gold at 205.

Davis, who has won four of the five bouts he’s had since losing the Bellator light heavyweight championship to Ryan Bader — the current Bellator champ-champ at heavyweight and light heavyweight — at Bellator 180, says he and Bellator were working out his next fight before the global coronavirus pandemic hit. The pandemic resulted in the promotion scrapping their Bellator 241 card the very day of the event (March 13), and the promotion has so far not officially confirmed any new events or re-schedulings.

While it was a last-minute cancelation, hours after other major sports leagues in America postponed their seasons, Bellator CEO Scott Coker made sure fighters scheduled for Bellator 241 were paid for the work they did during fight week. It’s proof in why Davis, in an interview with FanSided, says Coker is “a cool cat.”

“You know, it’s something that I’ve thought and known for such a long time…he’s such a cool dude,” Davis told FanSided. “Not only does he excel at the promotional end — and I say that because fighting is a business and, like any other business owner, you are the president, you got to make some hard choices. And he does, but he also looks out for the fighters and understands fighters, and that’s I really appreciate being a part of this organization.”

Bellator’s website, since press time, currently only promotes an Oct. 3 European Series event in Dublin, Ireland, and a Bellator MMA/Kickboxing event in Milan, Italy on Oct.10 If these cards genuinely are still on and/or if their future is in doubt, it is not understood.

Davis states he blames nobody however himself for losing title

Despite when Bellator returns to doing occasions, Davis states he’ll be prepared to resume his title chase and he’s been doing his best to keep in battle shape for whenever the time comes.

“So, most of the quarantine I did nothing but some evening runs,” Davis stated. “I have a good three-and-a-half mile loop around my area and a good closed loop. Unless you reside in this area, you most likely would not enter here and take a photo, drive around the loop or perhaps stroll or run around. it’s kind of great.

” I choose to head out at like 8: 30, 9:00 There’s no one however diehard runners out at that time and after that after that, I do not need to cross the walkway or run in the street or anything like that I might simply travel down the walkway myself and do not need to stress over running into anyone and encountering a stroller– simply me and me and my mind. Simply working and running and handled. It’s been a, it’s been a, it’s a good time to refocus yourself and your energy and discover your enthusiasm and refocus.”

After an early 2015 loss to Bader to end his UFC agreement, Davis signed with Bellator in complimentary firm. He debuted later on that year at the co-promoted Bellator 142: Dynamite 1 event that September, scoring first-round surfaces of Emanuel Newton and Francis Carmont on the exact same night to win a Light Heavyweight Grand Prix, and beating “King Mo” Muhammed Lawal at Bellator 154, prior to besting Liam McGeary at Bellator 163 to declare the championship.

Davis didn’t hold the title for too long, nevertheless, as his Bellator battle with Bader was only his first title defense effort. Because that time, Davis beat Leonardo Leite by decision and has actually completed Linton Vassell, McGeary and Karl Albrektsson, while likewise losing a split decision to present No. 1 light heavyweight competitor Vadim Nemkov.

Bader, on the other hand, made one defense of the championship in 2017 prior to participating in the Heavyweight Grand Prix, winning the Bellator heavyweight title at Bellator 214 and protecting it versus Cheick Kongo at Bellator 226.

It’s uncommon for Bellator to do interim champions– it’s in truth only occurred 3 times in the promo’s history– however Newton beat Lawal for such an accomplishment in2013 And with Bader not having actually protected the title in two-and-a-half- plus years, some might state an interim title or removing Bader may be required– which would provide Davis a chance to recover the gold.

However Davis feels if Bellator didn’t wish to do an interim championship, that was its authority, and there’s nobody he can blame for letting the championship escape aside from himself.

“I really like my organization and I respect their leadership, and if there isn’t an interim. Then, there’s isn’t an interim,” Davis stated. “I state that because, you understand, more than anything. You’re going to have a challenging time in life if you aren’t liable to yourself both mentally and realistically. And I blame myself for losing the light heavyweight title, and in no chance do I believe somebody needs to somebody make a chance for me to get that title back … I take full credit; so, if that chance isn’t there, OK, it’s not there. You need to not have actually lost that title, so for me, that’s the pushing thing.

” Perhaps yes or no [for an interim title], however that’s not the point. Like, I’m liable to me, male. I recall, ‘Really, knucklehead? You shouldn’ t have actually ever lost.’ Therefore when I reside in that, when I put myself because, in those shoes, and where those feelings, I do not think of what Bellator need to have done this or that … no. I do not even think of what [Bellator] need to[do] No. Phil needs to have headed out there and his a ** need to have won that battle. Which’s what is necessary to me– that level of responsibility rollovers into whatever. It’s not about what was done to you, or this or that, you ‘d need to focus all of your energy on what you can manage. And me and my preparation, and my efficiencies are what I can manage, and eventually is what is honestly satisfying.”

Phil Davis reveals terrific gratitude to be part of the Bellator family

In truth, Davis appreciates his relationship with Bellator CEO Scott Coker and the organization a lot that in 2015, he apparently signed a multi-year, multi-fight agreement as a totally free representative. Davis stated the decision was rather a simple one to make in between attempting to re-sign with the UFC or complete in a various organization like ONE Championship or the PFL.

“Sometimes, the grass isn’t greener on the other side. And sometimes it is,” Davis stated. “But what will make the decision in the process better is having a reason why. And, you know, I don’t believe I had a reason to explore free agency. I really enjoy working for Bellator, and I really enjoy where I’m at. And when you ask yourself, even if there is more money, would you enjoy that? You know the situation, why chance it? There is a chance that I could go to another organization, just perfectly happy and perfectly comfortable and with more money, but there’s also a chance that I will not. And if I am happy and thankful and content where I am, why risk?”

In a previous interview Coker made with FanSided, the Bellator head revealed the possibility of Bellator occasions returning in July, potentially in an empty arena, prior to potentially going back to occasions with fans towards completion of 2020.

Davis is positive Coker’s vision and strategy will play out, stating it’s a warranty. And if there’s any method he can be a part of those strategies, he wants in.

“First of all, Scott Coker, he knows way more than he will tell you,” Davis stated. “I’m simply going to inform you that he understands, method more than he will inform you. If he informed you it’s gon na take place. Disallowing another horrible event, if he stated it to you, it’s going to take place. That’s something you need to learn about Scott. He’s quite legitimate because regard. He stated it, it’s gon na take place.

I believe that is a sensible timeline and, obviously, I wish to belong. I wish to belong of anything Bellator does. If not contending then, you understand, a few of the fan occasions or on the desk of the broadcast. I wish to belong of whatever they do. I enjoy being with Bellator andenjoy their material.”

Despite when Bellator’s return comes, and when Davis gets the chance to go back in the cage once again, he’s positive he’ll have the ability to take out a 3rd straight win and make his case to when again difficulty for the Bellator light heavyweight title, despite it the champ is Bader or Nemkov.

Davis confesses he isn’t 100 percent positive in either Bader or Nemkov getting the win, and he does confess it might be more difficult to make a case if Bader is still champion after all is stated and done– thinking about Davis has actually lost to him two times currently. Davis feels positive his resume and remarkable wins need to keep him in the discussion, even specifying the last male he beat, Albrektsson, will be a name that sticks around Bellator’s 205- pound division in the future.

“I think it is a tougher sell if Ryan Bader is the winner, but definitely not out of the question,” Davis stated. “But yeah, I’ve been winning and doing so impressively and over some tough competition across the board. Bellator has some great fighters, and in people in the know, they know that some of Bellator’s fighters are so amazing and there are guys that other organizations are licking their chops for. Just because the rest of the world may not know a guy like “King Karl” does not indicate that you need to sleep on[him] Keep that person inexpensively, you understand he is among those felines, you’re going to understand his name in the coming months.”

Next: 15 of the very best male Bellator fighters of all-time

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