This past weekend, former strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk cemented herself as the No. 1 contender for the strawweight title with a dominant performance at UFC Tampa. But despite one of the most decorated champions in UFC history returning to form in the main event, arguably the biggest talking point coming out of the event stemmed from a little-heralded undercard fight between Mike Davis and Thomas Gifford.
For nearly 15 minutes, Davis engaged in one of the most one-sided and prolonged beatdowns in recent UFC history. Davis beat Gifford pillar-to-post, dominating the bout and putting Gifford in trouble repeatedly to the point that many fans were vocal on social media calling for Gifford’s corner or the referee to intervene and put a stop to the unnecessary punishment, not to mention the two UFC commentators. Neither did though and with 14 seconds to go in the fight Davis connected on a massive punch that finally floored the hard-nosed Arkansan, leaving him face-down and inert. The KO seemed entirely unnecessary and prompted discussions about the role corners in MMA play and their reluctance to stop fights, even when it is in the best interest of their fighter.
But to all of that, Gifford says “nonsense.”
In a recent interview with TMZ Sports, Gifford responded to the critics who believed the fight should’ve been stopped sooner, saying that he’s come back from similar situations before and that his coaches did the right thing in letting it go on.
“I really don’t care what they say,” Gifford said. “They ain’t been training with me, they ain’t been through my life and they don’t know what goes through my mind and they don’t know how I’ve been raised. I’ve been there before. I’ve been almost dead in the second round and I’ve come back in the third and just impressed everybody and they was like ‘Whoa, there was no way that guy came back.’ That’s my life story! That’s always happened and my coaches know that. He’s seen me do it in the cage, he’s seen me do it in sparring rounds.
“It’s alright. I’m good, everybody knows it. My scans come back fine. I ain’t have no broken bones, I’m walking around. I might be all bruised up and I look horrible but that’ll all turn out. That’ll heal and that’ll all come right back to where I was before the fight even began.”
Amazingly, Gifford does not seem to have suffered any serious injuries as a result of the fight. And while many fighters might look at what happened and reevaluate their careers, or at least how certain situations are handled, Gifford says that the thought never crossed his mind. In fact, Gifford says he’s shooting to fight for another 15 years or so and hopefully become a champion one day.
“No, never crossed my mind,” Gifford said. “It never will until I’m probably 40 years old. I want another 13 to 15 years in this sport. I want to be the next Yoel Romero. I want to be the old man kicking everybody’s butt and showing everybody what’s up. Everybody starts off rocky. I think it was Rafael dos Anjos, he lost his first two fights and he became a champion. I mean sure he lost it but he can come back. I mean he’s not that old. He can still do it and so can I.”
It’s not impossible for Gifford’s dreams to come true and given the contours of his previous fight, it’s safe to say he has the toughness required to make it in MMA and the stubbornness necessary to keep going despite setbacks. That will serve him well because at the end of the day, Gifford says he’s pleased with his performance and chalks this up to just an unlucky roll of the dice.
“I’ve watched the video a million times and I don’t care,” Gifford concluded. “I went out on my shield. I done exactly what I said I was gonna do. I mean, I might have been rocked at the very first of the fight, [but] I’ve fought through adversity millions of times. This time I didn’t make it. They can doubt me for it all they want, but next time it will be different.”
Sides. Yair Rodriguez gives his side of hotel run-in with Jeremy Stephens after last fight.
Extended Khabib interview.
Top 10 Cash Grab fights.
Yair Rodriguez on Jeremy Stephens.
Fights Gone By. Jack Slack discusses Joanna vs. Waterson and ONE Championship.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
You better make sure you have that cardio together big fella @Anthony_Rumble— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) October 15, 2019
We’ve always been cool but I’ll be more than happy to choke you out if that’s what you’re looking for. @Anthony_Rumble— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) October 15, 2019
So it continues.
Good lord look at Ulka Sasaki’s jaw.
1発目の右で奥が折れて、アッパーで真ん中辺りが折れた。今までのどのパンチよりも強力だった。手術は本日出来そうです。全身麻酔で術後はかなり辛いらしい。— 佐々木憂流迦 Ulka Sasaki ウルカ うるか (@Ulka_Sasaki) October 15, 2019
Update on me :)— Cub Swanson (@CubSwanson) October 15, 2019
Broken left hand & minor scratches in both eyes ♂️ I’m probably not fighting again until next year
Hard to argue.
Dillon Danis actually with a solid idea.
i am thinking about starting a non profit organization for kids who are bullied to be able to train the martial art of their choice for free, what do you guys think?— Dillon Danis (@dillondanis) October 15, 2019
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Hulk is getting restless again...UFC Fight Night 165 looks like it needs some more excitement @ufc @danawhite Hulk vs. OSP looks like a great match up and a fight that must happen. Wherever Hulk goes you know it's going to be a great show. ______________________ Hulk se face din nou neliniștit ... UFC Fight Night 165 se pare că are nevoie de ceva mai multă emoție @ufc @danawhite Hulk vs. OSP arată ca un meci minunat și o luptă care trebuie să se întâmple. Oriunde merge Hulk știi că va fi un spectacol minunat. #ufc #cutelabateam #nextfight
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Galera, infelizmente lesionei meu joelho durante o camp, estou com uma inflamação no ligamento, sentindo muito dor durante os treinos, acabou ocasionando um cisto e além disso não consigo fazer alguns movimentos. Vou precisar ficar parada durante 1 mês sem treinar e além disso algumas sessões de fisioterapia. Peço desculpas a todas as pessoas que estavam na torcida e que aguardavam minha segunda luta no UFC. Mas ja estou em tratamento e inclusive quero agredecer ao acompanhamento do Dr. Cristiano e a @drarenatacastro a clinica @careclub.ipanema por estarem me ajudando com o tratamento. Prometo que voltarei mais forte e estou ansiosa para voltar aos octógonos do UFC. . . Guys, unfortunately I injured my knee during the camp, I have a ligament inflammation, feeling a lot of pain during training, ended up causing a cyst and besides and I can't make some movements. I will need to stay still for 1 month without training and some physical therapy sessions. I apologize to all the people who were cheering and waiting for my second fight at UFC. But I'm already in treatment and I even want to thank Dr. Cristiano and @drarenatacastro the clinic @careclub.ipanema for helping me with the treatment. I promise I'll be back stronger and looking forward to returning to the UFC octagons. . .
Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.
Should Gifford’s corner have stopped the fight?
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Don’t care either way.
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