A Mr. Wonderful Thing: Why Phil Davis Is Ready for Nogueira and Beyond

By Patrick Straub

The first thing you might notice about UFC light heavyweight Phil Davis is how broad he is from shoulder to shoulder.

A wrestler with a wingspan stretching to 79 inches, he’s packed in a physique that you immediately recognize as an athlete of a higher caliber. It’s a torso you’re more likely to see on an NFL running back than on a fighter, and Davis is one of the few in MMA who carry it.

I can recall Davis’ first fight with the UFC, an undercard bout, making it to the broadcast when he debuted with the organization at UFC 109.

He beat Brain Stann via unanimous decision. Nothing that’ll make you scour the web in hopes of finding a replay, but it was apparent that he was freakishly athletic, and more or less dominated Stann for all three rounds.

We saw him fight next when he quickly dispatched Alexander Gustafsson in Abu Dhabi at UFC 112. That fight made me a believer that Davis has “sky is the limit” potential, and I’ve since been convinced that this kid will go as far as his desire will carry him.

In just over a year of fighting under the UFC banner, 26-year-old Phil Davis has racked up four impressive victories at light heavyweight.  With an 8-0 overall record, and an attitude that is humble yet confident, Davis is faced with the opportunity to step into the upper echelon of light heavyweights when he steps into the cage to fight Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC Fight Night on March 26.


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