Dana White recently bashed Phil Davis for supposedly not wanting to be a champion bad enough. How did White know that Davis didn't want to reach the top?
Well, not for lack of any effort or apparent improvement in his fights. Rather, White dismissed Davis simply because he said the former national champion collegiate wrestler doesn't talk enough trash.
"[Phil Davis is] one of the best light heavyweights in the world, but he doesn’t come off to me like…dude, I got guys breathing down my [expletive] neck wanting fights. I want this fight, I want a title fight, I want this I want that," White said.
"Phil Davis is kind of like, eh. I’ll hang out around No. 4 here and meh. He’s not that guy that comes across like I [expletive] want it. Like I want to be the champ, I want to be the best in the world. He’s sort of, eh."
Well, Davis corrected that problem this week during the UFC 172 media call. Davis fights Anthony Johnson in the co-main event this Saturday on pay per view and light heavyweight champion Jon Jones defends his belt against Glover Teixeira in the main event.
Davis took aim at Jones, interrupting him often and criticizing the champ during the call. Before he did, however, Davis replied to White's strange criticism. We knew something was about to go down when Davis began referring himself in the third person.
"That’s not necessarily Phil. It’s really just a miscommunication. So I’m just going to make sure I’m going to do what I’ve got to do Saturday, then I’ll call out whoever the champion is after Saturday night, simple as that," Davis said.
Of course, Phil didn't wait until Saturday to unload on the champ. Take, for example, his description of Jones' controversial last win against Davis' training partner Alexander Gustafsson.
"Here’s what happened. Jon Jones came out doing his regular deal and Alex - because Alex and I, we train together and we went over some things to do - I said, listen man, what you really need to do is you need to strong arm him like an American and hit him with a backhand pimp slap. I’m telling you right now, Alexander threw seven different kinds of smoke at this dude, Jon Jones didn’t know up from down when he was fighting Alex. He didn’t know what hit him. He didn’t know why he hit him, why he was hitting so hard.
"I honestly still don’t really understand really how [Alex] lost, but I will say this: Jon Jones came back the last two rounds, fourth and fifth rounds, came back like a champion. Did he do enough to win? Absolutely not," Davis said.
"But, I’m going to tell you this, seven different kinds of smoke. Jon Jones was one fire, seven different kinds of smoke he had."
You can listen to all of Davis' verbal explosion on the full call audio below. For his part, Jones tried to take the above-the-fray approach.
"I think if anything Phil’s embarrassing himself with all the antics," the champ said.
"But it’s what he decided to do today. You know, I’m a champion. I’m a champion, and I fight the top dogs and my whole career has been in the fast lane. I am not going to sit here and belittle myself by entertaining Phil. At first I thought it was funny, but it’s just silly. And I’m fighting Glover, and he’s fighting Anthony Johnson. I really need to stay focused on Glover, and Glover’s a great challenge to me.
"I just think when you talk like that, and you be so goofy, it puts a lot of pressure on you. I mean, what if he goes out there and gets caught with one of those high kicks from Anthony Johnson and gets knocked out? It’s going to be really embarrassing to talk so much trash to me and then get knocked out by Anthony Johnson. So I’m going to keep my mouth shut and stay focused for what I’m here for, and that’s Glover."