Mr. Wonderful himself, Phil Davis, gets another crack at Vadim Nemkov this Friday at Bellator 257.
And whether it’s due to their past history or not, Davis (22-5, 1NC) feels the champ is the man to beat in the Bellator light heavyweight grand prix. “My toughest test, you know honestly it’s sort of cliche, but I want to say Nemkov,” Davis told media outlets including Cageside Press at the Bellator 257 media day. “He’s champion for a reason, he’s a tough cat, and he’s the guy to beat. The champion. I want to have the light heavyweight belt, then after that, clean out the rest of the tournament.”
Their fight will be the third quarterfinal in the grand prix, which kicked off last week at Bellator 256, where Ryan Bader defeated Lyoto Machida to advance to the next round. Davis, for his part, isn’t sure what the rematch with Nemkov will look like, though he is imploring fans to tune in. “That’s the thing, I don’t know. It’s going to be crazy though! It is going to be crazy. I can promise you that.”
Davis feels that Nemkov was able to “skate by” with the split decision win in their original meeting. “This time, he’s coming to make a statement that he is the rightful champion, and I’m coming to say ‘no you not!’ So it’s definitely going to be a very aggressive and exciting fight.”
After joining Bellator in 2015, Davis won the promotion’s 205lb title the following year. Only to lose the belt to Ryan Bader one fight later. Against Nemkov, he has the opportunity not only to avenge a loss, but reclaim the belt. Asked which mattered more, he pointed out that “it’s the same fight,” before admitting that getting the belt back was the most important thing.
“To me that’s an emotional question, and I’m very not emotional about fighting at all,” explained Davis. “It’s a job and I do it because it’s fun. I’m about being the champion.”
Phil Davis looks to win his second light heavyweight title this Friday at Bellator 257. The event airs live on Showtime following online prelims available right here on Cageside Press. Be sure to check out Davis’ full media day appearance above.