Phil Davis is no longer in the UFC. Seems like a strange thing... almost surreal, but that's the way of it. Davis signed an exclusive multi-fight deal with Bellator last week, on April 15th. The deal had a number of implications across both promotions, speaking to the UFC's history of culling less action oriented fighters, Bellator's desire for talent with name value, and an ongoing talent bidding war between the two promotions. It also held an implication far more personal, at least for UFC champion Jon Jones.
Back in May of 2014, Phil Davis went on the MMA Hour to tell Ariel Helwani, "I think of Jon Jones as a shortbread cookie. He's soft, he's sweet, but when I get my hands on him he's going to crumble in the palm of my hand..." It was an insult that apparently stuck with Jones, who poked fun at Phil Davis' exit from the UFC during a recent Google Hangout with Andrei Arlovski:
"I do believe the competition is not as stiff at Bellator as the UFC so I think he'll definitely be a top three guy in the world now. Good for him. Maybe he'll even win it. To be a world champion and to make a little more money, that's a win-win. But good luck 'crumbling me like a cookie' from all the way over there."
You'd think that that would be the cue to continue the war of words between the two men, but from the sound of things, Phil Davis is taking the high road, being the bigger man. Here's what he had to say about Jones' comments in a recent interview with MMA Mania:
"You know what, here is what I have for Jon, because I think this is long overdue," Davis said. "I need to apologize to poor Jonny, because I said those words about crumbling him like a cookie and he has hung onto those words for all of about a year now. And apparently he hung onto those words because I hurt his feelings. So, let me apologize to him by saying sorry I said I was going to crumble you like a cookie, because he has still not let that go. I get it. I feel bad the poor guy has been worried about that comment ever since I said it. He is very sensitive you know?"
You can really feel the love in those words.
No word yet on who Davis' first opponent will be, or when he's making his debut, so stay tuned for more news and updates.