Phil Davis is 'ready to fight', but waiting on UFC to offer an opponent

Patrick Smith

UFC light heavyweight Phil Davis had the win of his career in August of 2013 when he defeated former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida at UFC 163.

Despite there being a measure of controversy about the win, few could ever dispute he hasn't improved and consistently climbing the ladder of contenders. Yet, if that's the case, why hasn't he competed since then?

According to his coach at Alliance MMA, Eric Del Fierro, Davis is eager to get back in the Octagon, but the UFC has yet to call him.

"Listen, we're looking at our calendar," Del Fierro told Ariel Helwani on Monday's The MMA Hour. "I have to time my traveling in advance because I still work as a fireman, but we talked about Phil. I sat down with Phil, I said, 'We need a fight. I don't know what's going on.'

"It's not because Phil doesn't want to fight," Del Fierro explained. "Phil's ready to fight. We're just not getting the fight."

Del Fierro believes Davis is due for an upgrade in opposition. According to the UFC's rankings, Davis currently stands at no. 4. At a minimum, Del Fierro believes Davis should be fighting a top 5-ranked opponent, but acknowledges that may be tough. Opponents could be willing to turn down Davis and at this point, too much time has passed for them to not keep Davis active.

"Phil's in a position where he should be fighting a top 5 guy. We're just not getting those guys. People are out there not wanting to fight Phil as well," Del Fierro said.

"At this point, does he just take a top 20 guy and just say, 'Hey, I need to stay busy'? Obviously that's something we need to consider at the same time because he just needs to get back in there."

In terms of spacing, Del Fierro and Davis were aiming for an Octagon return for 'Mr. Wonderful' by February. Given the calendar for February's fights are all full, that's not likely to happen. The trouble, Del Fierro states, is that they don't really know when they can plan as a deadline to get Davis back in action.

"We were hoping he was fighting by February, but that's not going to happen. Maybe March? I don't know. April?," Del Fierro asked rhetorically. "I literally haven't heard anything."

That silence from the UFC might be the most troubling aspect of all. Del Fierro states Davis could be willing to take an opponent not ranked in the top 5 to maintain an active schedule, but he hasn't even had the chance to weigh the option considering the phone hasn't been ringing from the Zuffa offices at all.

"I don't think they've offered him anything," Del Fierro said.

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