Marcus Davis of Bangor will have to find a new professional affiliation if he is to continue his mixed martial arts fighting career
After 16 mixed-martial arts fights and six years fighting under the auspices of the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship), Davis now finds himself an MMA fighter with no professional association or affiliation.
The UFC released the 37-year-old Davis from his current contract with one more fight still remaining this week, just three days after he lost a fight by technical knockout to Jeremy Stephens, 24, on Saturday in his first UFC lightweight division fight.
Davis said it was not a good time for him to talk Thursday night because he was teaching a mixed martial arts seminar in Maine and referred all questions and press inquiries to his agent, Joe Cavallaro. Cavallaro confirmed the release on Thursday.
“I know what it is. With the UFC’s merger with the WEC (World Extreme Cagefighting), they have 300 or so guys under contract and they only really need a couple hundred,” said Cavallaro, who has represented Davis for nearly 10 years. “After a couple losses back to back, they chose to cut him.”
Davis was ahead on points during his latest fight Saturday and in strikes by considerable margins before Stephens knocked him out on a punch with 2:33 left in the third round.
“With this last fight with Jeremy Stephens, he said ‘I made a mistake, and I paid for it, and you’ve got to give it to Jeremy Stephens,'” Cavallaro said. “He (Stephens) won. We’ve got nothing but respect for him, and (Marcus) is looking forward to getting back in there and working his way back to the UFC.”
Cavallaro said UFC officials indicated Davis could be re-signed if he won a few fights against some quality opponents.
Davis plans to take some time off and spend some more time with his family before heading back to the gym to train and line up another pro fight, but this “down time” will likely be shorter than what he would have had if he wasn’t going to fight again until March (his next likely UFC fight).
“He’s only got a handful of more years to fight, so he needs to get right back in it with some (MMA) wins over some quality guys to get right back in the UFC,” Cavallaro said. “They are open to his returning. He’s hit kind of a bad run and needs to kind of get rejuvenated and I think moving to 155 is doing that for him.”
Davis recently dropped as many as 55 pounds to switch from welterweight to lightweight and fight at 155 pounds. He plans to stay at that fight weight for the foreseeable future.
“Today’s been a busy day since we got that out the phone’s been ringing all day,” Cavallaro said. “The UFC has really treated him well and he’s been great for them for a long time, and getting back to UFC is the ultimate goal. He’s not ready to call it quits because he still feels good.
Davis, who started fighting in the UFC after gaining notice as one of the last fighters to avoid elimination in season two of the The Ultimate Fighter TV show, leaves the UFC with a 22-9 overall record in MMA fights after losing four of his last UFC fights.
Davis, who won six straight UFC fights from Oct., 2006 to Jan., 2008, also fought as a professional boxer before switching to mixed martial arts. Davis compiled a 22-1-2 record as a pro boxer.