UFC contender Phil Davis taking time off to improve, plans to fight by year's end | MMAjunkie.com

by Steven Marrocco on Apr 18, 2011 at 1:40 pm ET
To the naysayers who've said he isn't the future of the light-heavyweight division, Phil Davis has something to say.

Did you think of that one on your own, or did you need help?

"So I'm not the best in the world," Davis (9-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) recently told MMAjunkie.com (UFC blog for UFC news, UFC rumors, fighter interviews and event previews/recaps | MMAjunkie.com). "Guess what. I will be one day."

Less-than-stellar feedback on his most recent performance and a series of nagging injuries have prompted Davis to realign his priorities. Improving his skills is now the most important part of his career.

"I really want to make some huge gains inside the gym before I step back in," he said.

Davis used his stock and trade of wrestling to outpoint Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (19-5 MMA, 2-2 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 24. But in doing so, he failed to fulfill the hopes of many who sought to crown the next contender to Jon Jones' title. The overall feedback was that Davis wouldn't be ready any time soon for contendership.

But the former NCAA Division I wrestling champion said critics who say he isn't all that haven't been listening to him. With fewer than three years in the fight game and a schedule that's left him little time to hone his craft, Davis is the first guy to say he needs work.

"I've admitted: Yeah, I'm green," Davis joked. "I don't know what I'm doing, guys. You got me."