Surviving an awkward kick to the neck at UFC 75 paid off for Marcus Davis in two ways. Not only did the welterweight rebound for a first-round victory over Paul Taylor on Saturday in London, but he also earned a $40,000 bonus for “Fight of the Night” and an additional $40,000 for “Submission of the Night.”
Early in their main-card bout, Taylor connected on a kick that hit “The Irish Hand Grenade” flush on the neck.
“My legs instantly went to sleep, and I got these real tingly feelings as I hit the mat,” Davis told MMAjunkie.com. “But I’m so glad he kicked me in the neck. If he hadn’t, and I just went out there and mauled him and submitted him, it wouldn’t have really accomplished anything. I’m lucky he was a tough guy and it was a back-and-forth battle because it earned us the extra money.”
Although Davis rebounded to defeat his English opponent with an armbar submission, Taylor also earned a $40,000 “Fight of the Night” bonus.
“I’m glad (Taylor) got something,” Davis said. “We’re now buddies. He’s a really great guy. We hit it off even before the fight.“
UFC president Dana White and UFC matchmaker Joe Silva congratulated Davis after the fight and informed him of the bonuses.
With the victory, Davis pushed his win streak to 10, including five straight in the UFC. After appearing on the second season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” the former professional boxer committed himself to becoming a well-rounded fighter and has since ended six of his past 10 victories via submission.
“If I wanted to be a great fighter, sprawling and brawling wasn’t the way to do it,” said Davis, who rebuilt his career in smaller organizations after appearing on the reality series. “I needed work in submissions, fighting from the clinch and getting takedowns. I needed to come back with better kneeing and elbowing… but I now feel comfortable in any situation and any fight.”
Davis, who has one fight remaining on his UFC contract, said UFC officials already talked to him about a possible next fight. He said it could take place in January at an as-of-yet-unannounced event in Newcastle, England.
“I kind of let the cat out of the bag at the (UFC 75) press conference,” Davis said. “After that, Joe Silva had to say that they were looking into the event.
“I love fighting overseas, so I hope the event happens.”
England’s Jess Liaudin, who pushed his UFC record to 2-0 with a win over Anthony Torres at UFC 75, has been discussed as a possible opponent for Davis.
Houston Alexander picked up a $40,000 “Knockout of the Night” bonus for his 61-second TKO of Alessio Sakara.
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- Marcus Davis