Phil Davis did a lot of talking in the days leading up to his fight with Anthony Johnson earlier this year, working to secure himself a spot as the next contender to the title.
However, by the end of the third round, it was “Rumble” who had backed it up inside the Octagon. Johnson scored a decision victory over “Mr. Wonderful” and sent the former Penn State University wrestling standout back to the drawing board.
Davis returns to action this October at UFC 179 against former No. 1 contender Glover Teixeira. The bout is set for the co-main event in Brazil on pay-per-view.
During a recent interview on “Submission Radio,” Davis admitted he picked up a couple of valuable lessons in the loss to Johnson.
“Well I’ll tell you what I took away, I can definitely take a punch and not complain about it. I learnt that. I learned Rumble Johnston hit’s hard,” he said. “I know that. That’s two facts. Put that down, that is a fact! So you know there’s a lot I can take out of that. I wasn’t performing at my absolute best. I knew that going in, but what do you do I’m a competitor. I will never back away from a fight, it’s just not what I do. I don’t know how to do that. I don’t know how to quit.
“So I have to be smart with my preparation, employ a different game plan against Glover Teixeira and really make sure I take the fight to him and not get caught on my heels.”
The night Davis lost to Johnson, Teixeira was defeated by Jon Jones for the UFC title. However, despite being in the same building, Davis didn’t see much of the championship match.
“Honestly I’ve only seen a little bit of his fight with Jon Jones. I was actually not watching that fight, if you can believe that. I was not happy at the time when he was busy fighting Jon Jones,” he said. “So I definitely will use that fight in preparation for my next fight and we’ll see what I come up with.”
The last two times Davis (12-2) has headed south to Brazil, he has left with his hand raised. Last August he defeated former champion Lyoto Machida, while in 2012 he scored a submission win over Wagner Prado.
“Do I worry about the judges? Absolutely I worry about the judges. Is it gonna be a fair fight? No it’s not going to be a fair fight. Do I expect it to be, you know uneven? Absolutely,” Davis said. “But, you known at some point I gotta give these guys a little bit of credit because they come over to America and they fight, and you very seldom hear them complain.
“Now having said that, yeah there’s a little bit of a home field advantage and I acknowledge that, but at the same time I’m ready to scrap.”