August 11, 2022

Phil Davis (23-6, 11 finishes) returns to the cage on Saturday, when he faces Julius Anglickas (10-2, seven finishes) on Showtime (9 p.m. ET) at Bellator 276 from Family Arena in St. Louis in the light heavyweight co-main event. Former Bellator 205-pound champ “Mr. Wonderful” took the time for some Q&A for the latest Post Fight Interview with The Post’s Scott Fontana.

Q: You said after your last win, over Yoel Romero, that both your parents had been diagnosed with cancer? How are they doing?
A: They’re both doing really well; both in remission. … Mom, she had breast cancer, was able to get that fully removed, and [treated with] radiation and all that jazz, that went really well. Dad had prostate [cancer] and got that removed and whatever else treatment he had to do. Both of them had a really tough treatment process. They got through it. It was not easy, but they did make it through.

Q: What makes Anglickas the right opponent for you at this stage of your career?
A: I feel like he and Mr. Romero (who Davis defeated on Sept. 18) are not so much polar opposites but … prove yourself against the established guys and prove yourself against the younger, less-well-known guys, and just constantly proving your skill set.

Q: How do you compare Bellator’s light heavyweight roster to UFCs, especially near the top?
A: Well, I’ve got a solid win over the UFC champion [Glover Teixeira], so there’s that. I think Bellator has the better 205-pound division, bar none.

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Q: You earned your final UFC victory over Teixeira in 2014. Does a part of you itch to face him again now that he’s their champ?
A: That’s not the reason I want to face him again. Put it like this: If I had the opportunity to face him again — meaning either he was in my organization or I were in his — then that would be the fight to make, but not just because he’s doing well (laughs). I don’t want to rain on his parade.

Phil Davis

Q: Three men in Bellator have wins over Teixeira: you, Anthony Johnson and Corey Anderson.
A: Keeps getting more interesting, doesn’t it?

Q: How much time do you have left on your contract?
A: I’m going to answer that as truthfully as I possibly can: I don’t know. … When my contract’s up or close to being up, I’ll get that call from my management, and we’ll renew, or we’ll look to see what the best offer is. But, right now, nothing’s broke. No need to fix it. Bellator has consistently proved that they are, in many ways, the organization that will take care of their fighters.

Q: You’ve got 14 years in the sport now. How much longer do you want to keep fighting?
A: I’m having fun. We’ll see (laughs).

Q: Anglickas is coming off a loss in his first step up in competition, against the champion Vadim Nemkov. What lessons did you take away from your first career loss, against former UFC champion Rashad Evans four years after your 2008 pro debut?
A: Man, I have come a long way in a short period of time. And that guy, he was just better than me. He was more experienced. … Other people who I’d fought previous to that, they were good in certain areas. They were really good in certain areas. But Rashad was much better all around, at least at that time, than all of those guys that I’d beaten previously. He was UFC champion [not long after I] graduated from college. So that’s a hell of a learning curve. At some point, you have to pay the piper, as far as that goes. 

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Phil Davis (left) shares a moment in the cage with mother Arbie Davis (right).
Phil Davis (right) shares a moment in the cage with mother Arbie Davis (left).

Q: How does your game stack up against that of Anglickas?
A: I think he’s very complete all around, top to bottom. I think I’ve got a little bit better tools in every area.

Q: Who wins the Bellator Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix next month: Nemkov or Anderson?
A: I put Nemkov up there, but we shall see.

Q: You shared a lot of thoughts last year with media members on stock and commodities. Is that a passion for you?
A: Oh snap! Yeah, I love it, man. 

Q: What degree did you earn from Penn State, for whom you won the 2008 NCAA wrestling title at 197 pounds?
A: Kinesiology.

Q: Do you recall your first experience watching MMA?
A: It’s definitely one of the first UFCs. I’m not sure which one. One of my favorite comebacks from that time is Royce Gracie vs. Kimo [Leopoldo]. … This is my regular routine — my parents used to always make fun of me because I would just run around the house in my tighty-whities, no matter how cold it was. And I just remember sitting on the floor of my parents’ room, and I was watching UFC 1 or 2 in my tight-whities (laughs) watching freaking Royce Gracie go to town.

Q: You can fight anyone in history. Who do you pick?
A: I fight guys I like. So, I want to fight Abraham Lincoln. Old Honest Abe could get down, man.

Q: Typical walkaround weight between fights?
A: About 220 [pounds].

Q: What do you expect to weigh on fight night next week?
A: Probably a little lower.

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Q: What’s a perfect day for you that doesn’t involve fighting?
A: I like to get up. I like to hike. Do some free market research while I’m walking, while I’m hiking. Maybe I sit down at the top of a mountain as 6:30 rolls around, as the market opens, and just begin to explore the day’s possibilities. Breakfast and getting the kids off to school; tell ‘em I love them. And do some reading. That’s a solid day, whether I have a lot to do or a little to do.

Q: Favorite fiction book?
A: “Orphan X.”

Q: Favorite blockbuster movie?
A: “Avatar.”

Q: Favorite rap track?
A: Anything off of “[Let’s Get It:] Thug Motivation 101.”

Q: Favorite video game?
A: “Halo 2.”

Q: What will you be doing in 10 years?
A: I could give you an idea, but I’d be wrong.