Canadian flyweight Mike Davis talks wild ride from basement training to title-fight

If you’re an MMA fan, especially a Canadian one, it’s about time you learn and remember the names, Mike Davis and Tyler Davis, a.k.a. The Davis Brothers. This Friday, March 30, one half of the duo is set to challenge for the first ever Canadian Flyweight championship as he takes on Corey Lautischer at Unified MMA 11 in Edmonton, Alberta.

MMATraining.com recently had a chance to sit down with the 25-year old Mike to talk some about the upcoming fight, his roots in MMA, and his life in general.

Joe Lebeau: He’s here with me now, how’s it going Mike?

Mike Davis: Pretty good, just got out of the gym and its getting close to fight time, so I’m ready to go.

JL: Awesome. Had a good workout?

MD: Oh yeah, I’ve been going hard since Monday. Just got back from BDB in Calgary, training with Nick Ring and the guys down there. Getting prepared.

JL: You were originally scheduled to face Corey for the UMMA Bantamweight title back in September. What happened to that bout and what prompted the drop to flyweight?

MD: Well, I’ve always walked around pretty light for bantamweight and I’ve never really cut weight. I just kept accepting fights at 135. We were supposed to fight, but he had to pull out due to an injury the week of, or two weeks before, and it was just disappointing. They came back at me with the same fight but at my natural weight class, so I couldn’t resist.

JL: Safe to say you’re staying at flyweight from here on out?

MD: Oh yeah. As long as there are fights for me at flyweight, I’ll be sticking there. It’s better for me. I’m bigger now, because I was a really undersized 135er. I’m pretty small, so it kind of gets hard to fight bigger guys all the time when you’re not cutting weight. 125 is more natural for me, so I’ll be sticking there.

JL: In your last fight against the larger Daniel Mark, he put you on your back quite often, but you demonstrated some amazing skills off of your back. Aside from your slick ground game, you also possess some serious striking skills and you always push the pace. Where do you feel strongest in your MMA game?

MD: Thanks a lot. Overall I’d say my aggression. It catches people off guard and I don’t like backing up. Even when I’m on my back, I’m always working, striking, and looking for submissions. As for my skill set, I could fight anywhere, really. I’m good on top, have good striking, and jiu-jitsu is my first love, so that comes naturally to me. As a fighter, I think it’s my aggression. I don’t stop, even if I’m tired, I just keep pushing forward.

JL: Could you run us through your preparations for the bout? How is the training camp going?

MD: It’s going excellent right now. I work a full-time job, so I usually train right after work. I get off at 5:00 pm and head straight to the gym and train until about 10:00 at night, just to get ready. But I’ve taken the last week and this coming up week off, and I’ve been training full-time at BDB Martial Arts about six-and-a-half hours a day. With a lot of fighters down there like Owen Carr, Brad Cardinal, Matt Bagshaw, and Ring. I’ve just been grinding it out doing my grappling and MMA. I don’t do anything crazy. I don’t really like lifting weights, so every ounce of my energy is put into the martial arts aspect of it. I’m always wrestling, doing jiu-jitsu, kickboxing, MMA. I don’t really take too much time to go do weights or anything. I like my circuits, but I don’t put too much effort in there. I find the best cardio is just fighting, doing pads.

JL: Obviously you and your brother, Tyler, have been on a tear through the Canadian MMA scene, especially out West. What is it that sparked your passion for MMA and how does it feel to be fighting along side your brother?

MD: I love it. Our passion came from watching WWF tapes from Blockbuster. We accidentally rented a UFC tape and we just fell in love with it right away. Then we watched Ken Shamrock vs. Dan Severn and that kinda bored us, so we went back to WWF for a bit. Then we found another MMA one when Tito Ortiz started on the scene, and we got right back into it. We were young and we used to simulate Tito and Vitor Belfort. We used to play like that when we were young, always fighting. Around high school, we were from a small town, Bassano, Alberta, and there were no gyms, not even a weight room! We would just fight in our backyard for fun, just beat up each other, and we enjoyed it. We ended up training in a garage up in Edson, Alberta. In our basement, we matted it off with Wal-Mart mats and then we trained at another gym three days a week. After that we started fighting professionally. It was pretty ghetto to begin with, like, being the whole basement scene, and we started off a little rough going 2-2 in our first four fights. Then we relocated, rededicated ourselves where we actually took it serious, and started the whole dieting thing.

JL: Definitely a real Canadian story for sure.

MD: Yeah, it’s as ghetto as it comes. Down in the States they have gyms and they’ve been training for a long time, but up here you just grab some buddies and train. That’s how we started and it was fun. I wouldn’t take it back, but we didn’t start with any past martial arts and we’re just hitting our grooves, I think.

JL: You guys have definitely been improving as you progress in your respective careers.

MD: It’s just, when you have a brother, it’s a constant competition. That’s why there so many brothers doing so well in MMA, I think. You can’t be lazy with your brother, and he’s my little brother so he always wants to beat the crap out of me. You gotta stand your ground. I think that’s why brothers are always so successful. They don’t slack off on you and they don’t puss around any subjects. If you’re doing something wrong they’ll make sure you fix it. They’re not too shy to say anything, whereas a lot of times people are worried about offending each other. If we’re losing a fight, he’s not too shy to tell me to wake the hell up and that’s what you need. You don’t want people lying to you, like in the Nick Diaz/Carlos Condit fight, saying you’re up three rounds or whatever. You want honest people and my brother doesn’t sugarcoat anything. If I’m being lazy, he’ll tell me, and vice-versa.

JL: So, you obviously push each other harder?

MD: Oh yeah, everything is a competition. We go for a run and it turns into a competition, our sparing matches always start light and by the end we’re just beating on each other. And now we’re both on four fight win streaks and we’re trying to beat each other to the next win to see who makes it to the big show first.

JL: You mentioned Tito, Severn, and Shamrock, so I gotta ask, who are your favorite fighters?

MD: It varies. Tito set the stones for me, but Wanderlei Silva and Aleksander Emelianenko were big ones. I like those aggressive guys. Right now my current favorite is, by far, Dominick Cruz. Ian McCall is a huge one too. I love watching those guy’s styles, and I like to try to simulate it. Just non-stop, fast paced, relentless little guys. Of course, Anderson Silva. Guys like Mauricio Rua and Dan Henderson, the old PRIDE guys who I’ve always loved watching. Especially Cruz and McCall though, just their style of footwork. You can’t be flat footed at 125 pounds. You can’t stop moving, you gotta keep moving to win fights. You’re not gonna finish every fight. It goes to the judges, and you need speed, quickness, and you can’t be lazy in a fight. You only get 15 minutes, you can’t spend time just backpedaling. A lot of people complain about judges scoring wrong, but you just gotta push the other guy and they can break.

JL: UFC finally announced they’re coming to Alberta. You must be excited about that?

MD: I think every fighter in Alberta is. Everyone is trying to get on that show right now and telling Dana White they want on. I was just down at the place they held the press conference and there was a huge buzz about it. I’d love to fight on the Calgary show if I get a win here. Even if just the winner could get in, they need 125 pound fighters, and we’re both on the upper echelon of Canadian flyweight fighters. If I could get in the UFC within four years of actually training at a gym, I’d love that.

JL: Looking forward to your upcoming fight, are there any specific challenges Corey presents to you in your upcoming bout?

MD: Yeah, he’s probably the tallest flyweight you’ll ever hear of at 5’10. That alone is a challenge, but I’ve fought tall guys at 135 my whole career, big guys. I’ve fought at 145 against monsters, so that won’t matter much. He’s a good submission guy, and he has a very nasty Guillotine Choke. I think he has finished three or four guys with it, so I’ve been practicing keeping my head out of those bad boys. He’s just a really good submission artist with okay standup. He’s more of a boxer though. Just gotta keep my head out of his arms, don’t let up grab my neck, and I think I’ll be fine. He’s a finisher for sure. Between us we have 15 or 16 fights and there has been two decisions. He has never been to one, and I’ve been to two in ten fights. Someone is getting finished, I think.

JL: Any messages for Corey leading up to your fight?

MD: Just come and fight. That’s all I ask for. I want to put on a fight. I have a huge crowd coming and he’s the hometown guy, so I hope he tries to defend his turf. I just want a good fight, nothing else. Just come and let me see where I’m at, and the winner can go on to bigger things.

JL: Before I let you go, Mike, you care to give any shoutouts?

MD: Yeah, of course. Nixion Oilfield, Gled Den Trucking, 301 Muay Thai, Merlin Shredding, CageDeals.ca, Kamakazi Punishment, First Round Management, my gym Arashi-Do Martial Arts and of course, BDB Martial Arts.

JL: Awesome, thanks for chatting with us Mike, and good luck on Friday night.

The fight takes placeat the Mirage Banquet Hall in Edmonton, Alberta. If you’re in the area and feel like checking out the show ticket information is available by calling 780-695-6626 or shooting off an email. You can follow Davis on Twitter or his Facebook page, and be sure to visit his website.

PHOTO CREDIT – TWITCHY FINGER PHOTOGRAPHY

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