UFC 172: Phil Davis and the Worst Week Ever

Matthew Ryder@@matthewjryderFeatured ColumnistApril 27, 2014

Apr 26, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA;   Anthony Johnson (blue gloves) fights Phil Davis (red gloves) during UFC 172 at Baltimore Arena.  Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Ever have one of those weeks?

You're not feeling great about your job, your boss is giving you a hard time, you don't know where to turn or what to do.

It's like the whole world is against you, every choice you make is wrong, and the ones that seem right blow up in your face.

In general, it just kind of sucks.

Yeah, you've had one of those weeks. Everyone has. All you can do is put your head down and give it a shake, then hope that the next week shapes up a little better.

You know who can sympathize with you, at least based on his UFC 172 experience? Light heavyweight contender Phil Davis. There's a pretty good chance that, wherever he is in the world right now, he's got his head down and he's giving it a shake. He's waiting for next week to start, hoping that it shapes up a little bit better.

Because fight week, for him, sucked.

It all started when Dana White decided, relatively unprovoked, to point a finger of blame at him for a perceived lack of fire. He ragged on Davis for being a perennial contender based on merit but never getting over the hump due to mental shortcomings.

Davis, for his part, embraced that idea. He made it clear that White's message, though perhaps erroneous, was received.

When it came time to promote UFC 172, Davis was a wild man. He said as much outrageous stuff as he could muster, most of it directed at UFC champion Jon Jones. There was almost no mention of his actual opponent, Anthony Johnson, but instead a nonstop stream of vitriol for Jones, who was serving as the event's headliner.

It was obvious that he was playing some sort of trumped-up character version of the man White wanted him to be, but it was pretty enjoyable for everyone involved. All he had to do was beat Johnson, and there was a pretty good chance he'd have talked himself right into title discussions.

But when it came time to walk the walk, Davis faltered. Johnson routed him with alarming ease, returning to the UFC for the first time in 28 months and stepping over the No. 4-ranked Davis in shocking fashion.

Davis didn't look bad by his own standards, he looked bad by any standards applicable to mixed martial arts. He couldn't get off, got beat up on the feet and couldn't score a takedown. He simply looked lost.

The work he'd done to become a trash-talker with an eye on the title was unraveled by the part he'd historically excelled at: the fighting. No one would have predicted that, but he sure picked a bad time for the worst showing of his career.

It was all bad enough for Davis, destined to leave Baltimore a loser and a disappointment in the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately world of MMA, but the parting digs of the press conference served to twist the knife that much more.

Sitting at the dais, Jones high-fived Johnson goofily and congratulated him on the considerable trouncing he'd laid on Davis earlier in the night. He mocked Davis and his lack of focus, suggesting that the Penn State alum was "somewhere pouting."

It was an undeniably tough way for Davis to end what has to be among the worst weeks of his life. Certainly of his professional life.

His job was unsatisfying, his boss threw him under the bus, he caught a quality beating at the office and then his nemesis mocked him on his way out the door (while basking in his own glory, no less).

All he can do about it is let the wounds heal and come back stronger—but boy, was this one forgettable.

Yup. No mistake about it.

Worst. Week. Ever.


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