Davis Tops “King Mo”, Set to Face
Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis entered Bellator in a flashback to the promotion’s tournament days. Two fights and first round finishes later, his name was coming over the speakers of the SAP Center in San Jose, California courtesy of Michael C. Williams as the Bellator Dynamite I Grand Prix champion.
It’s possible that the accomplishment is his biggest since his NCAA Division I Wrestling championship in 2008 while at Penn State. While Davis looked for gold, Mo Lawal looked to return to that level. The two men were originally scheduled to face each other in the final round of that Grand Prix before Lawal’s hopes were dashed by broken ribs.
Seven consecutive victories later,with four of his adversaries having their lights turned out by a good old-fashioned knuckle sandwich, Lawal was back in contention.
The opening exchanges are almost as standard as a collar & elbow tie-up to professional wrestling, They paw at each other, testing the water they’re in like dipping a foot in a pool as two minutes disappear. Mo sends a pair of hooks to the body in the direction of his adversary. Davis seems staggered with a overhand shot that will keep his dentist in business. He copies the movement a second time and lands.
Lawal goes to the body before catching a body kick attempt from the man who took his nickname after his cat in college. He throws a front kick that zips by the former champion’s right ear. The first round concludes shortly thereafter.
The next time Davis has a kick caught to start off the second round, he’s put on his back. The contenders separate immediately when the action takes place on the feet again. Lawal ducks a roundhouse and Davis almostly lands on his backside. Activity freezes as the aggressor falls victim to a glancing low blow.
From there body shots and low kicks from Lawal appear to allow him to pull away at two rounds to none. A second kick grazes Lawal below the belt, killing any momentum in the round but avoiding another stoppage.
With the fans growing restless, the go-to overhand from both men is the answer. Round three is just one commercial break away.
The last segment shows some variation with jabs keeping the distance between the two before their first clinch of the night. A 6-3 combo (right uppercut/left hook) adds some spice to this recipe. Davis goes to the legs, looking for any answer to his problem. He finds it in his wrestling.
Lawal is staring at the lights following a couple of rights capped off with a takedown that surprise the crowd. The grappling switches from side control to the seat belt position, from kimura to a attempted armbar. Davis can’t roll Lawal to his back and stretch out the limb. Mo escapes as the horn eventually sounds on a seemingly one-sided contest.
Phil Davis def. Muhammed Lawal via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
From MMAFighting.com (5/15):
“For some reason, whenever there’s a close fight, I always end up losing…Maybe I can get a rematch with him. Everyone thought he was going to smash me and take me down. They forgot I could wrestle. He wrestled in college. I wrestled grown men overseas. Respect me. Respect my f***ing name. Respect what I do.”