Former Bellator light heavyweight champion Phil Davis has won major titles in both wrestling and MMA but thinks one achievement holds more weight than the other.
Davis (21-5 MMA, 8-2 BMMA), a four-time NCAA Division I All-American from Penn State University, reached the pinnacle of college wrestling when he captured a national title in 2008.
Davis has successfully parlayed his wrestling skills into victories in the cage as he won the Bellator light heavyweight title in 2016.
But if he had to compare the two, Davis, just like Olympic gold medalist and UFC bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo, thinks winning a title in wrestling is the ultimate career highlight.
“Honestly I think the NCAA title is probably the top of the top there,” Davis told MMA Junkie. “Don’t get me wrong: Winning a World title in mixed martial arts is outstanding, but there’s something about wrestling.
“The margin for error is so small, and the competition in and out is so difficult, and there’s not this thing where you can pick and choose who you wrestle and when you wrestle. I’m gonna take so much time off. I mean, so many different things, you name it. But to me, it’s not hard to compare the two, it’s definitely the NCAA title. I have to agree with Mr. ‘Triple C’ on that.”
Since losing his Bellator 205-pound title, Davis has won four of his last five and is angling for a rematch with the man that took the belt from him, dual-champ Ryan Bader. But even if he’s successful in his quest to reclaim the title, it seems his NCAA title will remain at the top of “Mr. Wonderful’s” career achievements.