When Phil Davis was put on the UFC's second Fox card against Rashad Evans, he knew the pressure was on. Not only did he need to keep his undefeated streak going, but he also needed to create an exciting bout for network fans tuning into the UFC for the first time.
The result? A fight dominated by Rashad Evans as Davis struggled to find a rhythm. Davis told the MMA Hour that he couldn't slow down in the bout, which ended up exhausting him.
"I got myself into one of the situations where you've got to go all out to get out of that, and put out a lot of energy," he said. "That kind of put me behind on momentum, and from there, Rashad was just the calmer guy. He eased into the fight better. More and more, I was trying to do more to gain momentum and he was just calm and collected."
It was the first loss of Davis' MMA career. He ended his NCAA wrestling career with a championship, so it's the first time Davis has lost in at least four years. A loss like that can shake a man, but Davis took a different view of it.
"I'm glad he poked holes in my game," he said. "Because now I can fix some of those holes and know where the No. 2 guy in the world is going to beat me. Now I have a benchmark. Losing is not the worst thing in the world. The worst thing in the world is not getting better. I'm glad I got that fight. I'm glad I got it twice, and I'm just real excited about where I'm at in my career."
While he waits for his next opponent, Davis is helping his friend and teammate, Dominick Cruz, coach on this season of "The Ultimate Fighter." At 27, he's still a young and exciting fighter who has plenty to learn about MMA. A newly refocused Davis should be a force to reckon with.