Marcus Davis: MMA is not a real fight, it’s a sporting event where the best liars win
Marcus Davis is one of those fascinating people who you could listen to impart their knowledge for hours. Each answer he gave to Obviously Fight Talk was alive with depth and insight.
Davis, best known for an MMA career in the UFC, was also a professional boxer and is now aged 43 focused on his role as a coach.
Much of the interview reflected upon 2009, the year Davis fought in Dublin at UFC 93 in front of a partisan crowd and when he fought rival Dan Hardy six months later.
Davis, who adopted the nickname ‘Irish Hand Grenade’ because of his pride in his Irish roots, beat Chris Lytle which was awarded fight of the night.
“It was a very emotional time for me,” Davis said on the podcast. “As a boy growing up that was one thing I wanted to do was to fight in Ireland because I was a professional boxer and that was my dream so when I stopped boxing I presumed that wasn’t going to happen.”
On Obviously Fight Talk Davis spoke of how he became ill two days before the bout.
His corner feared he was walking out for “slaughter” because of his condition but Davis stated that the reception he received from the Dublin audience was a driving force.
“It was totally amazing. I rode that. That pushed me through that fight. I started crying at the end of it when I was talking. Words can’t describe and I actually have someone on Youtube who shared my walkout and has the whole beginning and I downloaded it and saved it on my phone and I watch it now and again to remind me.”
In June of that year Davis fought a veteran of the sport, Dan Hardy. Their build up was bitter, and as pointed out by Noel O’Keeffe, Hardy revealed in his new autobiography that his pre-fight comments like Davis being a “plastic paddy” hurt him.
Davis confirmed this.
He said: “I grew up in a poor, dysfunctional family, your typical fighters story. I was in trouble a lot. I got locked up as a kid for a while. I was street fighting constantly. It was just who I was. And when I finally had a trial when I was still very young that began to change me into another person and then when I had another one I became a little bit of a better person and then I got into reading a lot of literature on all different religions and philosophies and beliefs.
“But the one thing I’ve always had, until the last few years anyways, I still had that street kid temper and mentality. I just don’t do well with disrespect at all, like any kind of disrespect. He [Dan Hardy] got into my head and I got really angry.”
Davis explained how he “lost it” and was “screaming” at Hardy on a UFC conference call.
With hindsight, David admitted he regretted how he acted. He went on to lose the bout via decision.
“I went out there that first round and just wanted to embarrass him and knock him out quick. I was able to smash him a little bit, I picked him up and mounted him on the ground. I took his back. I mean I went hard at him that first round. After that my mind was already in a dark place and wasn’t focused on the match at hand. I wasn’t doing it to win I was doing it just to hurt him.”
Davis articulated why fighting with emotion won’t work in an MMA fight.
“MMA itself, it’s not real fighting, I know I get a lot of flack for this, it’s not,” he stated with emphasis. “I’ve been in real fights. I’ve been stabbed twice, I’ve been hit with a crowbar in the face, pint glasses and bottles, I’ve been shot at. Those were real fights. This is a sporting event.
“It really comes down to, you have a set of rules, and who can stay in those parameters of rules and choose the best tactics, the best techniques and lie to the other guy. The best liars win fights, the guys who make you think you’ll do one thing then do another, a great set up, a faint, those are the great fights. And on that night that wasn’t me. I just wanted to run out and just smash him.”
Since then Davis and Hardy have settled their feud as discussed on the podcast.
Now Davis leads a life as a coach. One of his methods was inspired by the former coach of Mike Tyson.
Davis said: “Cus D’Amato used to say ‘discover and uncover’ so I would rather discover something that you do well or uncover something that maybe you don’t even know yet and add to that, make it stronger, faster, better and add to it too because it might be something that makes sense.”
Fightstore Media recommends viewing the interview in full. Davis provides a compelling answer on what would happen if Conor McGregor fought Floyd Mayweather and he explains the differences between MMA and boxing.
Watch the Obviously Fight Talk interview with Marcus Davis below.