On Wednesday, April 15, 2015, Bellator MMA announced the signing of the sixth ranked Light Heavyweight MMA fighter in the world, Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis (13-3, 1 NC), to an exclusive, multi-fight deal.
We soon learned every organization from the Ice Capades to Bellator was interested in his services. With all the commotion, it became imperative we do our due diligence and find out what all the fuss was about.
Born and raised in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the state’s capital, the 30 year-old Davis attended Harrisburg High School then moved on to State College, PA to attend Penn State University, where he became a four-time NCAA Division I All-American wrestler for the Nittany Lions.
After graduating from Penn State, he remained in town and started training with the newly formed Lion Heart MMA team, coached by Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu master Jeff Rockwell, boxing trainer T. J. Turner, kickboxing/Muay Thai instructors Mark Miller and Ryan Gruhn and wrestling coach Matt Kocher.
With the help of his primary training partners Paul Bradley, Lou Armezzani and Jimmy Hettes, plus the many visiting fighters such as Dave Herman, Shanon Slack, Dominick Cruz, Jon Jones and Cain Velasquez, Davis soon became an outstanding fighter. When the Lion Heart team disbanded in 2009, Davis was persuaded to move to San Diego and continue his training at the Alliance Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif.
Davis, who began his professional career in 2008, compiled a record of 4–0 in regional promotions before being signed by the UFC in December of 2009. Davis, who stands 6’2” tall, weighs 205 pounds and has a 79” reach, won nine fights under the UFC banner over such fearsome foes as Antônio Rogério Nogueira, Lyoto Machida, Alexander Gustafsson, Brian Stann and Glover Teixeira.
After signing with Bellator, “Mr. Wonderful” will now be battling it out in their light heavyweight division which is currently upheld by champion Liam McGeary. Even though the light heavyweight division is one of their deepest with the likes of McGeary, Tito Ortiz, “King Mo” Lawal, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Emanuel Newton and Linton Vassell, Davis should have no problem becoming a major player and soon challenge for the title.
As a member of the Alliance MMA Team, Davis has been training alongside Bellator stars like Michael Chandler, Joey Beltran plus UFC star Dominick Cruz, Co-owner Brian Vera, along with many of the local Amateur and Pro up and comers.
“Phil is a world class Mixed Martial Artist and we are very happy to be adding him to our roster of some of the best Light Heavyweights in the world,” said the promotion’s president, Scott Coker. “Bellator remains fully committed to building its world-class roster by signing top free agents like Davis, as well as grooming up-and-coming stars. We’ve got some amazing match-ups in mind for ‘Mr. Wonderful’ that we will be announcing in the weeks to come.”
In 1911, a newspaper editor by the name of Arthur Brisbane was said to have coined the expression, “Use a picture. It’s worth a thousand words.” You’re going to agree 100% with that claim after we show you all the photos snatched from Phil Davis’ website and Facebook accounts. About the following photos, you’d have to say they speak volumes.
It’s only a matter of time before “Mr. Wonderful” will have us enthralled in his next adventure.