Top Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight Phil Davis is coming off three straight victories, holds wins over Alexander Gustafsson, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Lyoto Machida, among others, and is ranked No. 4 in the world in the promotion's "official" rankings (see them here).
The NCAA Division-1 national champion seems to have fallen out of favor with the UFC brass. In fact, the phone has stopped ringing ever since Davis tamed "The Dragon" at UFC 163 back in August, and coach Eric Del Fierro (via MMA Fighting) is not sure why.
"I sat down with Phil, I said, 'We need a fight. I don't know what's going on.' It's not because Phil doesn't want to fight. Phil's ready to fight. We're just not getting the fight. Phil's in a position where he should be fighting a top-five guy. We're just not getting those guys. People are out there not wanting to fight Phil, as well. At this point, does he just take a top 20 guy and just say, 'Hey, I need to stay busy'? Obviously, that's something we need to consider at the same time, because he just needs to get back in there. We were hoping he was fighting by February, but that's not going to happen. Maybe March? I don't know. April? I literally haven't heard anything."
UFC has maintained radio silence for nearly six months.
Davis split a win and a loss with two of the four people ranked above him. After choking out "The Mauler" way back in 2010, he went down on points in a five-round headliner opposite Rashad Evans in early 2012. That leaves Glover Teixeira and Jon Jones -- who battle at UFC 172 -- as the remaining fighters able to pull rank.
There may be more to the story.
Mixed martial arts (MMA) fans have been less than enthralled with the performances Davis has been churning out. At the end of the day, a win is a win, but lackluster decisions against Vinny Magalhaes and the aforementioned Machida may have left him in a holding pattern. Though if it's a finish UFC is after, matchmakers know just who to call.
But how long before they pick up the phone?