Vinny Magalhaes and Phil Davis have traded taunts over the Internet for months. They're finally about to get into the Octagon and settle their differences, as the light heavyweight contenders will square off at UFC 159 at Newark's Prudential Center on Saturday.
But on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour, Magalhaes had one final message for his rival: Bring an ice pack.
"I hope they could have two referees in the cage, because if I get a chance, I'm going to pop his arm," Magalhaes said. "I did that against Igor [Pokrajac], I tapped him out and I kept holding. And I think its not going to be any different for Phil. If I get him into something I'm going to hurt him. I'm not saying break it, just make him feel it for a week. When I fought Igor, three hours later he was still putting ice on his elbow. I think it's not going to be any different with Phil."
Magalhaes has done his fair share of exaggerated trash talk in the past -- this is, after all, a training partner of Chael Sonnen -- but the back-and-forth between Magalhaes and Davis has taken on a life of its own.
For Magalhaes, things got real when Davis said that he'd submit Magalhaes, a jiu-jitsu black belt who has scored eight of his 10 career MMA victories via submission.
"At first I just wanted a fight," Magalhaes said. "It was nothing personal, I didn't mean to be insulting Phil Davis, I didn't want it something personal, I just wanted a fight. ... And then, I'll be honest with you, it became personal. He couldn't control himself. And then he starts saying such things, it became a little personal. I can't remember what he said, I know he was saying things like oh, I'm a chump, and what else, jiu-jitsu is better than wrestling and that. I'm not one of those guys who defends jiu-jitsu like, you know, at all costs, he just said really dumb things, and I'm willing to prove him wrong."
It's clear Magalhaes took Davis' comments as a personal affront, similar to if Magalhaes had claimed he'd be able to outwrestle Davis, a former NCAA champion at Penn State.
"I think the way he said it implies, when a guy like Phil Davis says he's going to submit me, that's a trap. That's super-delusional. I've never been submitted in a no-gi match. That's the closest thing you can get to a UFC fight. In a grappling match there are no punches, but here's the thing. When you go to a grappling match, when you engage to grappling in an MMA match, there is no punching either. Once you engage to a submission, it's pure submission fighting, no matter if it is MMA or a grappling match. And in that case there is no way he can get a submission."
Trash talk aside, Magalhaes believes Davis to be a good test for a fighter at this stage of his career. Magalhaes acknowledges Davis' wrestling skill, but says his jiu-jitsu will carry the day.
"Both of us are still developing our striking game," Magalhaes said. "I'm still getting better, Phil is getting better as well. Then he has one thing which puts him into my game which is wrestling. Then as much people say usually high-level wrestling controls jiu-jitsu, yes, usually. But when you're talking about guys like Demian Maia, Fabricio Werdum, myself, Roger Gracie, I don't think there's an advantage when like in wrestling, as far as wrestling vs. jiu-jitsu. I'm one of those guys. I'm not bragging, the results tell that. I don't think his wrestling is an advantage on me."
"He's not excellent as people think he is," Magalhaes said of Davis' grappling. "Especially at the point that, he can't submit me. That's just like ridiculous. For him that's ridiculous, and for whoever agrees with him, it's ridiculous. These guys don't know what they're talking about. The only guy who ever came close to submitting me in a submission grappling match was Fabricio Werdum, and he was the only guy who ever locked me in a submission. I'm not talking in a gi, wearing pajamas and holding. I'm talking the closest thing to an MMA fight. ... Phil is not at the level, not close to that level. I'm not worried about him."
Magalhaes bristled at the notion he doesn't deserve a bout with Davis. Davis is ranked top 10 at light heavyweight in most polls, owns the only victory over Alexander Gustafsson, and has only lost to Rashad Evans. Though Magalhaes has won seven of his past eight bouts, he was once cut from the UFC and has only recently returned.
For inspiration, Magalhaes points to Chael Sonnen, who landed a light heavyweight title shot against Jon Jones on Saturday night.
"There is a fight on this card, Chael Sonnen vs. Jon Jones, and I don't think Chael has fought at light heavyweight in five years, six years," said Magalhaes. "So I don't know what we're talking about in terms of rankings. There's no such thing. It's fighting. If you want to fight someone, they ask you to take the fight, you take the fight. Has nothing to do with rankings."