Phil Kwabina Davis|
September 25, 1984
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, United States
|Other names||Mr. Wonderful|
|Height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight||205.8 lb (93 kg; 14 st 10 lb)|
|Division||Light Heavyweight (205 lb)|
|Reach||79 in (201 cm)|
|Fighting out of||Chula Vista, California, United States|
|Wrestling||NCAA Division I Wrestling|
|Years active||2008–present (MMA)|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|University||Penn State University|
|Notable school(s)||Harrisburg High School|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
last updated on: August 5, 2013
Phil Kwabina Davis (born September 25, 1984) is an American mixed martial artist who currently competes as a Light Heavyweight for Bellator MMA. Davis is the former Bellator Light Heavyweight World Champion. Davis is currently ranked as the #4 Light Heavyweight in the world according to Sherdog.
Davis was born and raised in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with his two older brothers, Jeffery and John. He began wrestling when he was in the eighth grade and then attended Harrisburg High School where he was a four-year team captain and letterman, with a 112-17 career record. Davis also lettered in tennis and cross-country running. He then went on to wrestle for the Penn State Nittany Lions wrestling team, finishing in 5th place nationally in the 197 lb weight class as a junior in 2007  and then winning the (197 lbs) NCAA title in 2008. He finished with an overall wrestling record of 116–20 while at Penn State and was a four-time NCAA Division I All-American. After graduating from Penn State, he began training with the newly formed LionHeart MMA team, coached by Jeff Rockwell (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu), TJ Turner (boxing), Mark Miller, (kickboxing and Muay Thai), Matt Kocher (wrestling/S&C) and Ryan Gruhn (Muay Thai) in State College, Pennsylvania. When Phil returns to State College/Penn State he trains at Central PA Mixed Martial Arts with Head Instructor; Ryan Gruhn as he has for Bellator 186 on November 4th at the Bryce Jordan Center.
Davis' primary training partners were Paul Bradley, Lou Armezzani and Jimy Hettes. He also trained with many visiting fighters such as Dave Herman, Shanon Slack, Dominick Cruz, Jon Jones and Cain Velasquez. When the LionHeart team disbanded in 2009, Davis moved to San Diego, California to continue his training with Alliance MMA. Davis earned his blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Lloyd Irvin in 2009. In 2009 he won the No Gi Grappling World Jiu-Jitsu Championship as a blue belt in the 221 lbs, Super Heavyweight division. Davis began his professional mixed martial arts career in 2008, compiling a record of 4–0 in regional promotions across the United States.
Davis fought Tim Boetsch on November 20, 2010, at UFC 123. He won by a one-handed modified kimura submission later dubbed the "Mr. Wonderful." He was awarded $80,000 for Submission of the Night and received the Submission of the Year award from MMANews247.com.
Davis was expected to face Matt Hamill in Toronto at UFC 129. However, Hamill was tapped as a replacement for Thiago Silva against Rampage Jackson at UFC 130. Davis was offered a fight against Jason Brilz, but then he replaced the injured Tito Ortiz on 6 weeks' notice against Antônio Rogério Nogueira in his first UFC main event on March 26, 2011, at UFC Fight Night 24. Davis defeated Nogueira by unanimous decision.
When UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones pulled out of a long-awaited title fight for Rashad Evans, Phil Davis agreed to fight Evans on August 6, 2011, at UFC 133, but on July 12, Davis pulled out of the event with a knee injury and was replaced by Tito Ortiz. Davis was announced to face Lyoto Machida on December 10, 2011, at UFC 140, however, shortly after, it was revealed that Davis was still recovering from a knee injury and the fight did not occur.
Davis faced former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Rashad Evans in a Number 1 contender fight on January 28, 2012, at UFC on Fox 2. Despite Davis' substantial wrestling credentials, Evans dominated him on the canvas, coasting to a unanimous decision.
Davis was expected to face Chad Griggs on August 4, 2012, at UFC on FOX 4. However, Griggs was forced out of the bout with an injury and was replaced by promotional newcomer Wagner Prado. The fight was ruled "No Contest" after an accidental eye poke at 1:28 of round 1 rendered Prado unable to continue. A rematch with Prado, briefly linked to UFC on FX 5, took place on October 13, 2012, at UFC 153. Davis won the rematch with a second round anaconda choke submission.
Davis was expected to face Forrest Griffin on December 29, 2012, at UFC 155. However, in early December, Griffin pulled out of the bout, citing a knee injury. Davis faced Vinny Magalhães in a wrestler vs. BJJ specialist fight on April 27, 2013, at UFC 159. He won the fight by unanimous decision.
On August 3, 2013, at UFC 163, Davis won a controversial unanimous decision against former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Lyoto Machida. Davis' only significant advantage was ground and pound following take-downs in the last minute of rounds one and two. While ESPN scored the fight for Davis, 13 selected UFC affiliate media outlets scored the fight in favor of Machida. An SP Nation fanpost stated, "Some MMA commentators and bloggers scored the fight 30-27 for Lyoto Machida." UFC president Dana White tweeted shortly after the fight that he had Machida winning all three rounds, and later told Yahoo! Sports "Machida definitely won", "MMA judging sucks", and his oft-repeated advice: "Never leave it in the hands of the judges." Machida left the light heavyweight division and went on to fight for the UFC Middleweight Championship.
With an official win over the highly ranked Machida, Davis looked to move into title contention against Anthony "Rumble" Johnson who returned to the UFC riding a six-fight win streak at light heavyweight (including one heavyweight fight) outside the promotion, following his disastrous and much-criticised previous UFC run at welterweight. Despite Davis being a considerable betting favorite, on April 26, 2014, in the co-main event at UFC 172, Johnson shut down Davis' wrestling game and kept the fight standing, where his pronounced edge in the striking won him all three rounds in a unanimous decision.
Leading up to the UFC 172 event, Davis actively baited UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones on a media promotion conference call. Later, he disparaged Jones' achievements against undersized competition, claiming "against actual light heavyweights, he's been so-so". He predicted that he would soon claim the title, while explicitly dismissing the challenge of his own booked opponent Anthony Johnson. Jones, who defended the UFC Light Heavyweight title against Glover Teixeira at the same event, took pleasure in mocking Davis' loss at the post-fight press conference, and later on-line.
After UFC 172, Davis faced Glover Teixeira who was coming off a loss to UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones on the same card. The fight took place October 25, 2014, at UFC 179. He utilized his wrestling advantage and won the fight by unanimous decision.
Davis made his debut as a participant in Bellator's one-night Light Heavyweight tournament at Bellator MMA & Glory: Dynamite 1 on September 19, 2015. He faced Emanuel Newton in the opening round and won by submission due to a kimura. He was scheduled to face Muhammed Lawal in the final. However, Lawal was unable to advance to the finals due to a rib injury and was replaced by alternate Francis Carmont. Davis won the bout via knockout in the first round.
By winning the tournament, Davis was set up to face Bellator Light Heavyweight Champion Liam McGeary at a yet-to-be-determined event. However, on February 19, 2016, it was announced that Davis next opponent would be Muhammed Lawal in a no 1 contender fight on May 14, 2016, at Bellator 154. He won the fight by unanimous decision.
Davis faced Liam McGeary for the Bellator Light Heavyweight Championship in the main event at Bellator 163 on November 4, 2016. He won the bout via unanimous decision to become the new Bellator Light Heavyweight champion.
Davis faced his former opponent Ryan Bader again in a title fight on June 24, 2017, at Bellator 180. Bader and Davis first met at UFC on Fox: Gustafsson vs. Johnson on January 24, 2015, with Bader winning by split decision. He was defeated again via split decision, thus losing the Bellator title.
|Professional record breakdown|
|24 matches||19 wins||4 losses|
|Win||19–4 (1)||Linton Vassell||KO (head kick)||Bellator 200||May 25, 2018||3||1:05||London, England|
|Win||18–4 (1)||Leonardo Leite||Decision (unanimous)||Bellator 186||November 3, 2017||3||5:00||University Park, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Loss||17–4 (1)||Ryan Bader||Decision (split)||Bellator 180||June 24, 2017||5||5:00||New York City, New York, United States||Lost the Bellator Light Heavyweight World Championship|
|Win||17–3 (1)||Liam McGeary||Decision (unanimous)||Bellator 163||November 4, 2016||5||5:00||Uncasville, Connecticut, United States||Won the Bellator Light Heavyweight World Championship|
|Win||16–3 (1)||Muhammed Lawal||Decision (unanimous)||Bellator 154||May 14, 2016||3||5:00||San Jose, California, United States||Bellator Light Heavyweight world title eliminator.|
|Win||15–3 (1)||Francis Carmont||KO (punches)||Bellator 142: Dynamite 1||September 19, 2015||1||2:15||San Jose, California, United States||Won Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix Championship.|
|Win||14–3 (1)||Emanuel Newton||Submission (kimura)||Bellator 142: Dynamite 1||September 19, 2015||1||4:39||San Jose, California, United States||Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix Semifinal.|
|Loss||13–3 (1)||Ryan Bader||Decision (split)||UFC on Fox: Gustafsson vs. Johnson||January 24, 2015||3||5:00||Stockholm, Sweden|
|Win||13–2 (1)||Glover Teixeira||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 179||October 25, 2014||3||5:00||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|Loss||12–2 (1)||Anthony Johnson||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 172||April 26, 2014||3||5:00||Baltimore, Maryland, United States||UFC Light Heavyweight title eliminator.|
|Win||12–1 (1)||Lyoto Machida||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 163||August 3, 2013||3||5:00||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|Win||11–1 (1)||Vinny Magalhães||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 159||April 27, 2013||3||5:00||Newark, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||10–1 (1)||Wagner Prado||Submission (anaconda choke)||UFC 153||October 13, 2012||2||4:29||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|NC||9–1 (1)||Wagner Prado||NC (accidental eye poke)||UFC on Fox: Shogun vs. Vera||August 4, 2012||1||1:28||Los Angeles, California, United States||Eye poke from Davis rendered Prado unable to continue.|
|Loss||9–1||Rashad Evans||Decision (unanimous)||UFC on Fox: Evans vs. Davis||January 28, 2012||5||5:00||Chicago, Illinois, United States||UFC Light Heavyweight title eliminator.|
|Win||9–0||Antônio Rogério Nogueira||Decision (unanimous)||UFC Fight Night: Nogueira vs. Davis||March 26, 2011||3||5:00||Seattle, Washington, United States|
|Win||8–0||Tim Boetsch||Submission (modified kimura)||UFC 123||November 20, 2010||2||2:55||Auburn Hills, Michigan, United States||Submission of the Night.|
|Win||7–0||Rodney Wallace||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 117||August 7, 2010||3||5:00||Oakland, California, United States|
|Win||6–0||Alexander Gustafsson||Submission (anaconda choke)||UFC 112||April 10, 2010||1||4:55||Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates|
|Win||5–0||Brian Stann||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 109||February 6, 2010||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||4–0||David Baggett||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Ultimate Cage FC 1||June 27, 2009||1||3:37||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Win||3–0||Terry Cohens||TKO (punches)||Ultimate Warrior Challenge 6||April 25, 2009||1||4:29||Fairfax, Virginia, United States|
|Win||2–0||Josh Green||TKO (punches)||PFC 12: High Stakes||January 22, 2009||1||1:49||Lemoore, California, United States|
|Win||1–0||Brett Chism||Decision (unanimous)||No Boundary 1||October 11, 2008||2||5:00||Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States|
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