When was the last time you've seen an undercard fight with two guys outside the top 10 in their weight class with expectations like this? It's MMA's version of Mickey Ward versus Arturo Gatti. Chris Lytle and Marcus Davis are gamers who like to slug and they battle it out as the first fight on the UFC 93 pay-per-view. It's been written up almost as if it's a guarantee for Fight of the Night at UFC 93. The pre-fight talk has the Brits and Irish expecting a donnybrook.
Is there any chance it doesn't measure up? More importantly, are both fighters truly focusing on winning? It's appeared in the past that Lytle's ultimate goal was to put on a show first, win second. He hasn't always played to his strengths with particular opponents. Did he have to stand and bang with Paul Taylor, who's ground game is on a low level? Was it the best approach to stand and throw against kicking machine Thiago Alves?
In spite of the fact that he cut his teeth in his 20s as a boxer, Davis hasn't fallen into that banger trap. He's fought smart but it's starting sound like he's going "Lytle". He told Setanta Sports in this video he won't submit Lytle even if it's given to him:
"If he gives me his head, or an arm or leg, I ain't gonna take it," promised Davis.
Is Davis serious or just hyping the fight? He told MMAJunkie that he was kidding when he made comments like that in the past:
"I had said, 'First guy to take it to the ground and start grappling is a pussy.' And I said that, and it blew up. Everybody ran with it. It was on all the freaking sites. It was on all the forums and such. People were cursing me out because I was trying to take it and not make it an MMA fight. "It was a joke. Nobody got it. I'm an MMA fighter. He's and MMA fighter. The fight could happen any place."
Then he sort of reversed course:
"With that said, no, I don't want to fight on the ground," Davis said. "I want to punch Chris in the face. He wants to punch me in the face. We both want to have an exciting fight. We would to reenact what Bonnar and Griffin were able to do four years ago. We want to do that same thing. We want to make the fans happy and get what they pay for when they buy the pay-per-views and the tickets."
This is what fans like to hear but it's a big mistake for either guy to simply slug in this one.