UFC light heavyweight Lyoto Machida is an intimidating foe. He’s beaten a number of top fighters, some in highlight-reel fashion, and brings a style unlike any other competitor in the sport. He’s also a top contender, and for that reason alone UFC 163 opponent Phil Davis is excited about the opportunity in front of him tonight rather than concerned for his immediate well-being.

“When they first said that name, I thought, ‘This is going to be fun’. He’ll be a handful. He’s the #1 contender. The #1 contender should be hard to beat, hard to figure out,” revealed Davis in a conversation with MMAFighting. “It’ll be that much more sweet after I do figure him out.”

Davis believes his attitude sets him apart from the pack and that’s exactly where he wants to be.

“A lot of guys have different plans for their careers,” explained the 11-1 Davis. “I know that if you want to get to the top, you have to fight a guy like Machida. If you want to get to where I want to go, you have to fight top guys like him.”

Machida’s match-up with Davis will act as this evening’s co-headliner. “Mr. Wonderful” is coming off consecutive wins over Machida’s countrymen Wagner Prado and Vinny Magalhaes, while the karate stylist holds an overall record of 19-3 including recent success against Ryan Bader and Dan Henderson.