Phil Davis (top): Fred Haas | Sherdog.com
When Phil Davis wrestled at Penn State, he won a national championship and was a four-time NCAA Division I All-American. When he competed in the 2009 World No-Gi Championships for jiu-jitsu, Davis took home gold. But, when it comes to music, there’s only one title the 205-pound blue-chipper is concerned with: being the man with the illest playlists at San Diego’s Alliance Training Center.
“We listen to a lot of hip-hop when we’re at the Alliance. Between Dominick Cruz and myself and the other fighters, there always ends up being a bunch of new rap always getting played. Everyone wants to have the new iPod playlist,” Davis says on the morning before his fight at UFC 123 in Auburn Hills, Mich.
“We used to be the go-to authorities on the music, and then my computer died on me and my music fizzled out for a while,” explains Davis, who says the WEC bantamweight ace has taken over as top selector in his absence. “But I wanna make a strong comeback. I can’t just let him be the champ and have the good playlist. What would that look like? I gotta have something.”
While Davis’ Alliance jams are understandably high-energy, he’s also got some more subdued selections for when it’s time to do his own thing. Below, the two sides of “Mr. Wonderful.”
Uptempo (for sparring, plyometrics)
“All I Do is Win” -- DJ Khaled f/ T-Pain, Ludacris, Rick Ross and Snoop Dogg
“No Love” -- Eminem f/ Lil Wayne
“Drop the World” -- Lil Wayne f/ Eminem
“Tell ‘Em I Said That” -- T.I.
“Stuntin’ Like My Daddy” -- Birdman and Lil Wayne
Downtempo (for running, rolling)
“Unforgettable” -- Drake f/ Young Jeezy
“Aston Martin Music” -- Rick Ross f/ Drake and Chrisette Michele
“Beach Chair” -- Jay-Z f/Chris Martin
“Those are my zone-out songs,” Davis says of the latter half of his list. “On my long runs, I put those on, get my imagination going, get some positive imagery going while I’m zoning out. The time and the miles just fly by.”
“I never really think of fight stuff, just imagery. It’s always getting my hand raised or getting a standing ovation or something. It never really equates to fighting. It’s more like accepting an award or something like that.”
When Davis walks into the Palace of Auburn Hills on Saturday night to take on Tim Boetsch, he’ll do so to the strains of Lil Wayne’s “Right Above It.” Although Davis says it’s just a song he enjoys and not one with any direct correlation to the fight, Wayne’s hook could easily be heard as a comment on the fast-rising prospect’s first slot on a UFC main card: “You know you at the top when only Heaven’s right above it.”