To date, in 22 fights UFC light heavyweight Lyoto Machida has only been submitted a single time, losing to divisional king Jon Jones in late 2011. However, he hasn’t necessarily faced a bevy of brilliant BJJers either. Though UFC 163 opponent Phil Davis isn’t necessarily known as a master of the ancient martial art, he’s certainly well-versed in grappling as an All-American and NCAA champion. He’s also tapped out his share of foes including top contender Alexander Gustafsson.
Davis is aiming to repeat the feat when he faces Machida on August 3, avoiding the Brazilian’s distinctly deceptive approach to striking in favor of a game he’s far more familiar with.
“What makes Lyoto Machida so unique is that he’s quite effective at catching people rushing in. Anyone who comes straight at him he usually punishes. I’m gonna stick to my bread and butter,” stated Davis in an interview with the UFC. “My plan is go to Rio and get another submission win and be able to build my legacy that way.”
The 11-1 “Mr. Wonderful” is also counting on a victory over the former champion boosting his status to the point he’ll only need another triumph or two to earn a coveted chance at competing for the strap.
“Machida was next in line for the title-shot and winning against him will put me up there in the contendership race,” said Davis.
The full interview with Davis can be seen below: