Wallace: Davis is too 'green'
Story by David L. Hudson Jr.
UFC light heavyweight fighter Rodney Wallace insists that his striking skills will propel him to victory over much-heralded prospect Phil Davis, a former NCAA Division I wrestling champion from Penn State. Wallace believes that the undefeated Davis is too green at his point in his career to beat him.
Wallace’s athleticism makes him a dangerous opponent for any fighter. The former all-time leading rusher from Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina, knows what it is like to be the focus of attention from crowds and opponents. Wallace not only holds the school’s all-time record in career yardage but also in touchdowns and 100-yard games.
“My football career helped me in terms of developing athleticism and discipline,” he says. “I know what it is like to be on a big stage and the center of attention.”
But, Wallace is candid in his assessment of the fight. “Look, if he can take me down and control me there, then I could be in trouble,” he says. “But, I don’t think he can do that. He is not versatile enough and my striking is too good.”
Wallace possesses excellent speed and power with his hands, sharpened by his experience as a professional boxer. Wallace compiled a 4-1 record as a pro boxer beginning in 2007. In 2008, he turned his attention to mixed martial arts and won his first nine MMA bouts before landing a UFC contract.
Wallace is not fazed by the change in opponent, as he was originally scheduled to face Stanislav Nedkov – a fighter also known for his grappling prowess. “They pretty much have the same style and strengths so I’m not worried.”
Wallace may need the victory to remain in the UFC, as he has lost his first two fights in the Octagon by decision to Brian Stann and Jared Hamman. However, Wallace was competitive in both fights, as the Hamman fight earned “Fight of the Night” honors.
Whatever happens, Wallace will continue his fighting career. “I’d love to remain in the UFC of course but I will keep fighting regardless.”