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Phil Davis guarantees he'd be able to take down Jon Jones: 'I'll get him down and keep him down'

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Daniel Cormier, a former Olympic wrestler, struggled to take Jon Jones down when the two fought at UFC 182 earlier this month. Phil Davis doesn't believe he would have the same issue.

"I'll get [Jones] down and keep him down," Davis said at a media luncheon last week in Los Angeles promotion UFC on FOX 14: Gustafsson vs. Johnson. "That is a fact. Put me on the record."

Davis, who meets Ryan Bader on Saturday in Sweden on the big FOX card, trained with Cormier at American Kickboxing Academy in advance of Cormier's fight with Jones. Davis said he was there to work wrestling with Cormier, so he didn't know what the exact strategy would be against Jones. But he doesn't think Cormier wrestled as much as he could have in the UFC light heavyweight title fight.

"I'm not sure how much he tried to," Davis said. "He went for a couple takedowns early on and then he just started putting hands on him. I mean, he definitely did wrestle. But at the same time, he kind of got away from it."

Jones won the fight by unanimous decision with Cormier fading late. Davis, who hasn't been very complimentary of Jones in the past, was impressed with the victory.

"Little bit," Davis said. "I think what surprised me more was his speed in the later rounds. I thought he did alright. I thought he did real good."

Davis doesn't think Jones would fare as well against him, especially in the wrestling game. But "Mr. Wonderful," a former four-time All-American wrestler at Penn State, first has to tackle Bader, another top-notch collegiate wrestler from Arizona State. Davis really likes Bader as a person and respects him as a fighter. But obviously he's confident going in.

"I think I'm more solid all around," Davis said.

As for Jones, Davis isn't sure how many wins he needs to earn a title shot. Alexander Gustafsson, Davis' training partner at Alliance MMA in San Diego, will meet Jones if Gustafsson beats Anthony Johnson on Saturday. After that, it's up in the air. Davis said a win over Bader could be enough to earn him that title opportunity.

"No way to know for sure," Davis said. "It could be, the way injuries are going, this could be it. It's just been like that.

"Once you're in that top five, it's just a matter of, I'd say like luck and timing."

Two of Davis' friends, Gustafsson and Cormier, are ahead of him in the rankings. And Davis has already beaten Glover Teixeira, another contender, back at UFC 179 in October. His potential elite light heavyweight opponents seem to be running out, but Davis said he would not like to fight Gustafsson or Cormier. Davis has already fought and beaten Gustafsson before the two began training together.

"I think people want you to fight people who helped to make you good because of it has this great storyline than you fighting a complete storyline," Davis said. "At the end of the day, why would you want to fight somebody you train with? Why would you want to try to hurt someone you train with? Nobody gets better that way."

Davis is interested in a rematch with Rashad Evans, who beat Davis in 2012.

"I owe him one," Davis said.

The main goal, though, is Jones. Davis has no love lost for the controversial champion. And he believes he knows how a fight between the two would go -- with his wrestling owning the day.

"I can get down anybody in the world," Davis said.