Marcus Davis is on winning streak. | Photo: Greg Hamilton
The UFC released Marcus Davis after his January loss to Jeremy Stephens, but he’s not so sure that was a bad thing.
He’s won three straight outside of the Octagon and will be looking for a fourth consecutive win Saturday when he takes on “Ultimate Fighter” alum Chuck O'Neil at Warrior-1 MMA in Coral Gables, Fla. The fight will air live on GFL.tv.
“Maybe that’s something that needed to happen,” Davis said on “The Savage Dog Show” of his release. “I needed to get out without all the pressure and have some time to be able to really focus on healing and getting better and working on facets of my game that you just can’t work on [in the UFC].”
While Davis may be learning some new tricks, he’s not getting any younger. The 38-year-old has been through some wars and he’s just not ready to give up the game.
“It is definitely something that I just really, really want to do,” Davis said. “I’m involved in so many different things outside of MMA, but I just couldn’t walk away at this point and feel comfortable, feel like I did what I wanted to do in this sport.”
Davis explained that if the people around him -- his trainers, his wife -- told him it was time to hang it up, he would. They haven’t, though.
“Instead I’m getting feedback that I’m a better fighter today than I was when I was in the UFC,” Davis said.
In O’Neil, he’s facing an opponent who advanced to the semifinals of “The Ultimate Fighter 13.” O’Neil was also released by the UFC, however, after dropping a unanimous decision to Chris Cope in June. A win over a veteran like Davis could help him get back to the UFC, but of course Davis doesn’t see himself as a steppingstone.
“The cool thing he’ll be able to do is say that he did fight me, but that’s it,” Davis said. “He’s not going to get back -- he won’t be doing anything other than having a bag of ice on his face and relaxing for the next couple of weeks after this fight. He’s going to have to take some time off. Me, on the other hand, I’ll be back home and training back in the gym on Monday.”
If he keeps winning, Davis could be the one who works his way back to the UFC. That would be nice, he said, but it’s not everything at this point in his career.
“Honestly, my goal right now is just to keep fighting regardless of where I am,” Davis said. “I just want to keep fighting. I want to keep getting better. If I end up back in the UFC and that’s where I finish my career, then that’s going to be a great ending to the Marcus Davis story or whatever. But if I don’t, that’s going to be OK too because I’ll still be doing what I love to do. When that time comes, and if I hang it up with Warrior-1 down the road or wherever it is down the road, the UFC, I’m still going to live happily ever after with my wife and kids. That’s just the way I look at it.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 21:48).