Jim Davis is set to make his professional MMA debut at Intimidation Cage Fighting 17 on Oct. 31, 2009, at Turfway Park in Florence, Ky. The reigning ICF super-heavyweight champion, Davis will actually be making his pro debut at a catchweight of 285 as he moves down to the heavyweight division, where he plans on playing out his pro career. Davis’s five amateur wins never made it out of the first round, and never out of the first minute.
However, Davis is not one to back down from a challenge, a fact made especially clear when the ICF announced who he would be facing in his first professional fight – UFC veteran Dan Christison.
PROMMA.INFO recently had the chance to catch up with Davis to talk about his fighting career so far and what he thinks about facing such a tough opponent in his first professional match.
PRO MMA: What made you want to get into fighting?
Davis: I started fighting on a dare! I was the neighborhood tough guy and I was dared to get in the cage and be a tough guy.
PRO MMA: What did you do before fighting?
Davis: I was a bouncer and bodyguard.
PRO MMA: How long have you been fighting?
Davis: About two years.
PRO MMA: You train at Team Vision, and work with a lot of quality men and women there – what’s it like training in that kind of atmosphere where you could be going up against guys like Victor O’Donnell and (recent Strikeforce signee) Roger Bowling on a daily basis?
Davis: Training with Team Vision gives me a lot of confidence. It’s not only Roger and Victor, but also [head coach] Rod Housley, Jordan Sullivan, Tyler Johnson, Mic Berwanger, and Jeremy Pender to name a few. I believe we have the best team top to bottom in Cincy [Cincinnati, Ohio] area.
PRO MMA: Do you have a day job? If so, what is it?
Davis: I was actually just laid off from my job where I was an electrician for a government contractor.
PRO MMA: Is fighting something you want to do full time?
Davis: I would love to fight full time, it’s my dream.
PRO MMA: You fought all your amateur fights at super heavyweight – why are you on the way down to heavyweight?
Davis: I fought all of my amateur fights at super heavyweight because I started training at that weight. I think that I accomplished a lot but there really aren’t that many quality super heavyweights out there so I’ll cut [to heavyweight] to get better fights and to challenge myself.
PRO MMA: There is a lot going on with some of the sport’s top heavyweights now – Brett Rogers and Fedor Emelianenko are getting ready to fight; heavyweights are being featured on this season of The Ultimate Fighter, and guys like Cain Velasquez, Ben Rothwell, Brock Lesnar, and Shane Carwin are all getting ready to fight again – as someone trying to get into those ranks, what do you think of the state of the heavyweight division in MMA?
Davis: I think the heavyweight class is as good as its ever been right now, no doubt. That’s the reason I’m headed down there.
PRO MMA: In your pro debut, you’re meeting Dan Christison at a catch-weight of 285 at the ICF 17 show at Turfway Park in Florence, Ky – Christison is obviously a seasoned veteran and a tough fight – why take such a tough fight in your pro debut, and what do you have to say about Christison?
Davis: I met Dan Christison a few times, we’ve fought on the same card a few times. I don’t think you could meet a nicer man. I feel I can compete against anyone. When the fight was offered I thought about it for about one minute before accepting it. It’s a huge honor to fight such a classy, tough fighter like him.
PRO MMA: You’ll be fighting in front of your home crowd – and with such a big fight, it’s obviously going to be a big crowd – what do you think is going to be going through your head when you’re walking out to the cage?
Davis: When I walk to the cage, I’m so emotional. I feel like I’m going to tear up. I’m living my dream every time I fight, and I absolutely love the fans. They are amazing and pump me up so much, it actually helps ease my nervousness.
PRO MMA: Thanks for taking the time to talk with me Jim – is there anybody you want to say thanks to or give a shout out to?
Davis: I would like to shout out my team, Team Vision, everyone is just great. My sponsors, and the fans who support me, I love ‘em.
Best of luck to Jim as he finishes preparing for what I believe is the toughest pro debut for any fighter that I have ever seen. I will be attending ICF 17, providing live blog coverage for PROMMA.INFO. Make sure to check back Saturday night to see how Jim does as he make his professional MMA debut. Jim was also a guest on a past episode of Cageside Beat. To listen to and download the episode, go here
For more information on the show, visit the ICF’s website.
By: Brian Furby