Davis (11-1, 1 no contest) is ranked seventh in the official UFC Fighter Rankings. Machida (19-3) is considered the top contender in the division. A win over the former champion would shoot Davis up the rankings, but he doesn’t put much stock in fighter rankings.
“I don't really know where I fit in the whole title contention picture. I don't really go by the rankings. I looked at the rankings once. I was disappointed, so I never looked at them again, and I just kind of go fight by fight,” said Davis during a recent media conference call.
“I won my last fight. I really want to get a finish. I'm going to win this fight and if I get a finish, it'll put me a lot further along than a loss or a win will,” he added.
Machida has a unique style. He uses a mixture of natural athleticism with a karate and jiu-jitsu background. He is elusive, quick, crafty and deadly accurate with his strikes. He is not easily mimicked in training camp.
“Yes, I brought in a couple of people to help me get a feel for what he does. But really nobody can really do what he does. He does it better than anybody. He has a very unique style,” said Davis. “He's a guy that's really good with a certain set of skills. And I don't necessarily have to try to fight like him in order to win. I just have to be on my A-game, and be extremely good at what I do.”
Davis has been in a top contender’s bout before when he faced former champion Rashad Evans at UFC on Fox 2 in January 2012. He lost to Evans by unanimous decision that night, but believes that experience could benefit him against Machida.
“There's a lot of that that I can take in. Number one, I know what not to do. Most importantly, I should say, I know what not to do. I did lose to the number one contender at that time. But I didn't get beat up. And that's always good. Not getting beat up is part of the game, at least that's my favorite part of the game,” he said.
“So, how I'm going to apply this to Lyoto Machida, I really don't know. They're two completely different guys. They don't fight alike. They don't look alike. They don't talk alike. I'm just going to go out there, and do what I need to do, wrap this guy up,” said the former four-time NCAA Division I wrestling All-American.