UFC Vet Davis Wins Bellator Title
After entering his new home of Bellator MMA and going 2-0 in on the night of his debut (a one-night tournament) Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis proved that he made the right decision for himself in moving from the UFC to win gold shortly thereafter.
Davis would go on to top one of the biggest personalities in Bellator in Muhammad “King Mo’ Lawal by decision before a climactic showdown with the previously untouched (11-0, all finishes) light heavyweight champion, Liam McGeary.
McGeary is the aggressor early with a kick in this, his first fight after a long injury that saw him be absent from competition for 535 days. The champion is trying to find his range with his hands while continuing to score with kicks before they dirty box. The challenger lets the Englishman throw wild bombs, walking right into a takedown and getting caught in the full- mount position.
Davis goes southpaw and to the body as McGeary fails with an elbow attempt. The former Penn State Nittany Lion wrestler takes his back, but the belt holder works to a standing position, jabbing for what remains of the frame. Davis slips on a kick before the bell but is easily off to the better start. Kicks go back and forth for the better part of the next five minutes and another uneventful exchange in full-mount.
Davis leads through ten minutes.
The American gives the crowd a jolt of energy by putting McGeary up in the air and sending him crashing hard with another takedown early. He ends up in McGeary’s guard but the ground scenario repeats itself as it has all night. This time though Davis changes things up with a shot at a kimura lock. McGeary bucks him off momentarily, but being trapped in full- mount seems unavoidable for him.
The Brit forces some space between them only for Davis to regain the position again, using striking and elbows effectively (cutting McGeary) and forcing his opponent to go for an avoidable kneebar. Referee “Big John” McCarthy quickly calls for a return to the feet, but this one is headed to the championship rounds.
Davis takes a knee when slithering in for a takedown, having narrowly avoided a kimura himself before a head kick. It doesn’t affect him and he gets the desired result. “Mr. Wonderful” works his way out of a triangle choke attempt, pulling further away in this excellent showing with point-scoring lefts and continues to work the cut.
McGeary ends the fourth stanza with his head trapped in the legs of the wrestler and yet again in the kimura before the bell. With his jiu-jitsu neutralized, McGeary is at the mercy of the challenger now. It’s déjà vu from there as Davis ground and pounds his way to a world championship.
Phil Davis def. Liam McGeary (C) by Unanimous Decision (50-43, 50-45, 50-44) for the Bellator Light Heavyweight title. Along with a now 4-0 Bellator record, the belt win makes Davis probably the most successful ex-UFC fighter to jump ship thus far.