Phil Davis, who rose to the ranks of a top contender in the UFC’s light heavyweight division, has signed an exclusive multi-fight contract with Bellator.
The promotion made the announcement official on Wednesday.
Davis (13-3) picked up nine wins in 13 fights with the UFC, including a win over former champion Lyoto Machida and title contenders Alexander Gustafsson and Glover Teixeira.
“Phil is a world class mixed martial artist and we are very happy to be adding him to our roster of some of the best light heavyweights in the world,” Bellator president Scott Coker said. “Bellator remains fully committed to building its world-class roster by signing top free agents like Davis, as well as grooming up-and-coming stars. We’ve got some amazing matchups in mind for ‘Mr. Wonderful’ that we will be announcing in the weeks to come.”
The current Bellator 205-pound champion is Liam McGeary, while the division also features former titleholder Emanuel Newton, Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal and ex-UFC champion Tito Ortiz.
“I can’t wait to be fighting in Bellator and wreck shop on everyone,” Davis said. “I am the absolute best and most dominant grappler to ever fight in MMA and I’m excited to get in there and compete at my new home.”
The 30-year-old Davis was a national wrestling champion at Penn State University in 2008 and also a runner-up in 2006. He placed fifth and seventh his two other years in college.
His last MMA bout was in January, as Davis fell to Ryan Bader via split-decision. “Mr. Wonderful” trains at Alliance MMA in San Diego alongside Michael Chandler, Dominick Cruz and several others.
— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) April 15, 2015