The UFC has found its welterweight gatekeeper as far the European fighters are concerned. Marcus Davis has now fought five times in the U.K. and not one of four Europeans has been up to the test against the 'Irish Hand Grenade.'
If you base prospect status on how the five fighters did against Davis, clearly Paul Taylor is the best. Taylor nearly finished Davis with a great headkick and some ground pound before succumbing to a first round armbar at UFC 75.
At UFC 89, Davis handed Paul Kelly his first loss. Kelly looked tentative from the get-go. His striking was crude and Davis, who has 11 years on Kelly, looked much faster. Davis used excellent movement and quick jabs to set up a second round takedown. Once ont he ground, submitting Kelly was childsplay. A member of Michael Bisping's camp The Wolfslair, Kelly made an amateurish mistake leaving his head exposed for a guillotine choke. Davis cinched it in for his 12th win in his last 13. The former professional boxer also picked up his eighth submission win in 15 victories.
There clearly hasn't been an elite 170 fighter located by the UFC in Europe so it's time for Davis to play that gatekeeper role against some of the young American prospects. Chris Lytle called out Davis. That may make for a slugfest but it doesn't get Davis where he wants to be and that's the top 10 at welterweight. It's time to match him up against the likes of Ben Saunders, Matt Brown, Pete Sell, Josh Burkman or Karo Parisyan. But if the UFC stays the same path, Brit Dan Hardy who scored the upset over Akihiro Gono may be the choice. Davis made it clear after the fight that he wants to be the UFC event in Dublin on Jan. 17.