It looks like there's some talent the UFC is just not that eager to fight for, as word has been made official that Phil Davis is now signed with Bellator. While the war for Quinton Jackson's services rages on in the courts, Phil Davis' contract negotiations appear to have been a relatively quiet affair. Davis's last fight on his Zuffa deal came in a loss to Ryan Bader back at UFC on Fox 14. Even then, rumors were swirling that the fight might be Davis' last inside the Octagon, as his career there seems to have been marked more by long-term disappointment with his competitive development than anything else.
It's something of a familiar story at this point, for UFC fans: Fighter climbs to the top of his division with less than popular style, fighter starts to lose, while still fighting ugly fights, fighter leaves the UFC. It's the same route traveled by Yushin Okami, Jon Fitch, and Jake Shields. However, unlike Okami and Fitch, who plied their trade for 7 or 8 years inside the Octagon (and who, along with Shields, got a shot at the title), Davis will be seeing the door just over 5 years in to his time with the promotion.
Is Phil Davis headed to Bellator?
Grinding light-heavyweight contender Phil Davis could be heading to Bellator as MMAFighting have confirmed recent Twitter reports insinuating of a departure from the UFC's mainstage.
It's an interesting move considering that Davis fights in a division that has only produced one title contender under the age of 30 (a line which Davis himself has just now crossed) since Jon Jones took the belt from Shogun Rua back in 2011. Still, while the division continues to age away under them, few fans seem broken up about seeing Davis's time with the UFC come to an end. Scott Coker, on the other hand, sounds pleased as punch:
"Phil is a world class Mixed Martial Artist and we are very happy to be adding him to OUR roster of some of the best Light Heavyweights in the world," said the promotion's president, Scott Coker. "Bellator remains fully committed to building its world-class roster by signing top free agents like Davis, as well as grooming up-and-coming stars. We've got some amazing matchups in mind for ‘Mr. Wonderful' that we will be announcing in the weeks to come."
No word yet on his debut date or opponent, but stay tuned as we'll be sure to keep you posted with any news or information as it becomes available.