He was one of those guys on sports talk shows comparing the Ultimate Fighting Championship to bar brawls, insisting the fighters are nothing but thugs without any understanding of "the sweet science."
Davis found out he was wrong in possibly the only way anyone can: He stepped in the cage and tried MMA himself.
"As a boxer, when you watch the MMA you think, 'Those guys stink. There's no way they could beat me. If someone tried to shoot in and take me down, I'd just punch them in the face,'" Davis said. "Then you find out the hard way that it doesn't work like that."
That moment came for Davis when he was a contestant on season two of Spike TV's
In his first bout on the reality show, Davis faced ground technician
"I didn't throw one punch for six months," he said. "I just taped that arm to my side and would start out on my back every day for six months and just grappled. I traveled all over, grappling with everyone I could. Then, when I was ready to go back to fighting, my manager set me up with a striker and said, 'Don't strike with him. Go out there and grapple. Take him down and submit him.' That's what I did."
Since losing to
But while he's shown the ability to end fights with his submissions, as well as his punching power, the question for Davis is whether he can keep it up against tougher competition. At UFC 85 on Saturday, Davis will face just that.
Returning to the U.K. for his fourth-straight bout in the country, he'll take on fellow American
"If I go out there and take Swick out in impressive fashion, I will have done something that no one else has done in the UFC," Davis said. "[
It's a match where both men have plenty to gain, but even more to lose. So don't be surprised if they come out with guns blazing. For the former boxer, a striking battle on the feet sounds just about perfect, but the danger for an aggressive fighter like Davis is that the tactician in Swick can avoid attacks long enough to frustrate an competitor into making a mistake.
Finishing Swick would indeed make a statement but losing could put a quick halt to Davis' rise through the welterweight ranks. There's simply too much talent in the division, with a chunk of it located squarely at the top of Saturday's card when former champ
"I would love for [Swick] to come in and think, 'You know what, I'm going to make a statement, I'm going to stand with him and knock him out,'" Davis said. "I would love for that to happen."
With Swick also looking to prove that he belongs in the welterweight elite, Davis will more than likely get his wish.