It may have taken Tito Ortiz a couple of days to change his mind on fighting Rashad Evans on short notice, but headlining UFC 133 was so important to up-and-comer Phil Davis that he intended to take on Evans with an injured knee. According to UFC president Dana White, “Mr. Wonderful” hasn’t been able to train his kickboxing in nearly three weeks due to the pain.
“Let me tell you this, Phil Davis 100 percent still wanted this fight,” White shared during Thursday’s media call. “What if he starts full training again and fully blows it out and gets hurt?
“Now he’s going to be out for God knows how long, and we just lost the main event a week before the fight.”
At 26 years of age, Davis already owns a perfect 9-0 resume. He was most recently seen posting a lopsided unanimous decision win over MMA legend Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. The March victory was by far the most significant W of his budding career.
“The reality is, the kid is hurt,” White said. “He’s a young guy, he’s undefeated, he can’t even train in kickboxing for the next couple weeks. He can wrestle to some extent … why would I want to do that to a young, up-and-coming kid?”
Although the light heavyweight wanted to give it a go, guess who makes the final decisions when it comes to Octagon activities?
White was unable to report Davis’ exact injury during yesterday media powwow, but he did state surgery would not be required. It appears some simple R&R is what the doctor ordered. Per White, Davis will meet Top 10 competition when he returns.
UFC 133 takes place at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Evans vs. Ortiz will headline the pay-per-view broadcast.