Phil Davis Wants Revenge Against Ryan Bader In New York City


Phil Davis has his eyes on a target and he's flat out fired up to get to getting to it.

The Bellator light heavyweight champion is eager to square off with newly signed divisional foe Ryan Bader, and he believes Madison Square Garden is the perfect place to host the showdown. With news of Bader inking his contract and the promotion he calls home officially landing in New York City both breaking on Monday afternoon, it was the perfect time to catch Davis on the fly.

The Power MMA leader is the only opponent Davis wants to face, and he's given the greenlight for Bellator to make things official.

"That's the fight I want," Davis told FloCombat in an exclusive interview. "I knew we wanted to do this fight a little bit bigger than we had done the other ones. I knew we wanted to go to New York, but I wasn't sure if we were going to do Barclays or what have you, but it would be a great experience to be fighting in Madison Square Garden."

Although Davis has been on an unstoppable run since joining Bellator and has put up some of the strongest showings of his career, his first go round with Bader is something that has been stinging his mind for the past two years.

The two initially met at UFC on Fox 14 back in 2015, with Davis facing Bader in what would be the final fight of his time with the Zuffa-owned promotion. As an athlete who stormed through the collegiate ranks en route to a National Championship his senior year then parlayed those skills into becoming a world-class fighter, losing isn't something he's ever gotten used to.

Davis is determined to get one back on Bader and he's confident he'll get the job done.

"You know what? Truthfully, [Bader] caught me at the perfect time," Davis said. "I felt like I was given homework on the last day of school. I'll never say I wasn't trying to win because I was. One hundred percent I was trying to take him out of there, but sometimes you can be less interested in a contest for a number of reasons. I just wasn't into it, but I don't want to take anything away from him. He did the work and got his hand raised. That's what it's all about.

"Now he has Hell to pay. Even though I'm 'Mr. Wonderful', when I step inside that cage or on the wrestling mat I become 'Mr. I Will Make You Pay for Doing Me Wrong.'

"Every now and then I think about wrestling matches where victory barely slipped out of my hands," he added. "A lot of the guys I didn't get a chance to come back on because I was a guy who was good early on, so a lot of the guys I went up against were juniors or seniors. A lot of them I never got to wrestle again, but the guys who were Freshmen and Sophomores...oh, man, did I wear them out.

"If you got a takedown on me and I didn't like it, I was going to wear you out next time."

While Davis has been outspoken about wanting the fight with Bader, his potential opponent has also been quite vocal about wanting the showdown. Davis believes the top-ranked light heavyweight is biting off more than he can chew and has zero qualms with punishing heavy-handed winner of The Ultimate Fighter for what he sees as poor decision making.

"Listen, I don't know what he thinks, but if he thinks he's barking up the wrong tree, then he doesn't need to even be in the forest because it's a dangerous place," Davis warned. "I think it's great because I'm gunning for him. He's not going to slip by me and there won't be any surprises. I am 100 percent focused on him and have been. I'm ready.

"You don't want to be on my revenge list," he added with a laugh. "When you are on the 'Wonderful List' you get a Christmas card. When you are on the 'Revenge List' you get kicked in the pants."

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