Alfie Davis on Jay Dods “His manager has done a good job and found him a load of bums to beat up”

Alfie ‘ARD’ Davis (7-1) is looking to steal the show when he steps into the Bellator cage on Friday. The London-based lightweight wasn’t featured at the open workout event that the Viacom-owned promotion ran at the London Shootfighters gym, but Davis is determined to prove to Bellator that they should make him the star attraction the next time they are in town.

“It is a one fight deal, but I suspect they’ll offer me a contract,” he said. “It will be very hard for them not to, they’ve just landed a superstar at their door. But we’ll discuss that after the fight!”

“I’m looking towards Bellator and the UFC. I’m eyeing them up. I’d be a top 10 fighter within two years.”

Davis faces Jay Dods (6-0), the two met as amateurs in 2013, with ‘ARD’ securing a decision victory at UCMMA 35. There had been numerous attempts to set up a second fight between the pair over the last three years, but no matchmaker was able to get the deal signed as Dods was reluctant to take the fight. That changed once Jude Samuel got in touch with both parties, the BAMMA matchmaker helped match the preliminary card of Bellator 179.

Looking back at that night at the Troxy, Davis explained that being a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu novice at the time made his opponent think that he could be taken down and controlled, a game plan that wasn’t successful for his opponent. And with the pair set to meet again, the former Team Titan fighter doesn’t see how his opponent can emerge victorious.

”I beat him via decision, but I messed him up with my jiu jitsu, he didn’t expect that, and I messed him up with my striking.”

“He is predominately a striker, and I expect him to try and strike with me. If he does want to take me down, he has a lot of holes in his ground game, and I’m much better than him, that would be great for me. And the same if he wants to strike. It is a very good match up with me.”

Dods, who defeated Arnoldas Cerauskas at WFS 7 in March, faces the toughest challenge of his career as this will be his first fight against an opponent with a winning record. And Davis believes that has been a calculated decision by Dods’ management team and that they have made an error in allowing their fighter to step into the cage with him.

“Look at his record, it looks like he wants to pad his record,” Davis declared. “His manager has done a good job and found him a load of bums to beat up, and now has a 6-0 record, which is marketable, it got him onto this Bellator card.”

“I think the lights have got to him, it is a good show, but it isn’t a good show when you lose.”

The 25-year-old acknowledges that his opponent has grown considerably since they first met, but feels that his own development will be too much for Dods, even suggesting that staying on the regional circuit for longer would have been better for his opponent.

“He is a dangerous striker now, he was then as well, he does have dangerous attributes, but he isn’t on my level.”

“I think he should have stayed on the local circuit for 2 years, and then he would be getting to that level. I think he has stepped up too fast, and I’m going to make him pay.”

The lightweight was due to face Adam Boussif at Fightstar Championship 9 but withdrew not long after as he agreed to face Dods. Davis spoke to Raj Singh, the owner of FSC, and although Singh was understandably upset that Davis would not be competing at his event, he understood why Davis couldn’t to turn down this opportunity.

“He messaged me, he was very cool with it, he was upset that I was off the card, but he likes it that fighters go onto bigger things.”

Davis and his coaches contemplated whether he could compete at FSC and Bellator, but decided against it as they felt there was nothing to gain from the FSC fight as Boussif had lost three in a row. And although critical of padded records, Davis believes that defeating the 6-0 fighter will do more for his profile than a victory over Boussif would have.

“Dods is undefeated as a pro, granted that he has fought a load of bums, but the general public don’t know that. Even at the highest level, it doesn’t really matter, as long as you’re marketable with your record, at the highest level, that is what they look at. The die hard MMA fans are the only ones who understand the games that are being played.”

A talented kickboxer as a teenager, Davis won British, European, and world championships when he was based at Enfield Kickboxing Academy. His time in MMA started off at Team Titan, but he made the move to London Shootfighters in 2016 and has found his home.

Davis has the potential to be one of best MMA fighters to have come through the UK MMA scene, with a skill set that continues to develop thanks to the LSF coaching team. The improvements to his game are noticeable every time he steps into the cage. Not afraid to trash talk or call out fighters, he also offers intelligent breakdowns of his fights, his opponents, and techniques. And having just handed in his dissertation, he no longer has the distraction of university to worry about, though the BSc Sports Science course has helped him understand how the body recovers and how to cut weight with minimal harm to the body.

7-1 as a pro, he defeated Martin Hudson (4-2) at Lion FC 11 in March, and yet very few UK MMA followers mention his name when talking about the best prospects in the country. That lack of coverage could be due to Davis not being signed to a promotion that would push him, Davis has been reluctant to sign an exclusive contract with a UK MMA promotion due to the low financial incentives that have been offered.

The most likely reason is that the LSF man is missing a notable win over a top UK MMA name, but that isn’t due to a lack of trying on Davis’ part, his management team have struggled to find UK-based fighters who are willing to share the cage with him.

“It is very hard for me to get matched with a quality fighter, especially in UK MMA. I’d never turn a fight down, especially on the UK circuit, there is no one I would turn down. With the lightweight division, there are a host of people who are inactive or fight on a Russian event. It is unfortunate that I haven’t been able to fight them.”

“But if you look at some of the fighters I fought, like Kostadin Enev, he was doing well before I fought him. I’ll have to look at the European scene in the future, but I think I’ll get signed off this performance. And then I can look at some of the Americans and prove my worth there.”

The lightweight did mention one UK MMA fighter that he would like to face, Cage Warriors lightweight champion Chris Fishgold. Davis defeated Terry Doyle at Cage Warriors 75 in 2016, and would be open to negotiating with the London-based promotion if they offered him a title shot.

The Londoner revealed that he makes 155lbs comfortably, but could make the step up to welterweight in the future, believing that his talent and academic background would make up for any size advantage opponents would have after a weight cut.

“I don’t think a lot of welterweights are great at cutting, they aren’t scientific with their cuts, and I don’t think the weight advantage would do much for them.”

“I’m definitely staying at lightweight, but no one likes cutting weight, so maybe one day I will do it. Welterweight is an easier division for me, I would like the fight with Alex Lohore, we have had a bit of a disagreement before, that would be good fight for me.”

By JeevanMMA

Owner/Editor of Writer, Podcaster, Producer of 'Notorious: Conor McGregor' film, 'Conor McGregor: Notorious' TV series, 'Ten Thousand Hours', 'The Fighting Irish' and more documentary films.