Davidson Confident on Eve of Drysdale Fight


Davidson is ready for Drysdale (photo by Jason Bouwmeester)

How would you feel if your coach called you and asked if you wanted to fight an Abu Dhabi Absolute champion, who happens to coach and train at Xtreme Couture, and who is working his way to the UFC Light-Heavyweight division?  Clay Davidson had this experience, not once, but twice, and he quickly accepted the bout.

“At first it was like ‘WHOA!’ That guy is an Abu Dhabi Champion!  But when I first started MMA and if you told me I would headline a fight in Victoria against an Abu Dhabi champion in an arena that I played hockey in, it would have been too incredible to imagine.  So I had to jump on that fight.  I was offered it once before, but I had a fight lined up already.  I was so hoping to get that offer again.  I thought I had missed the boat.”

When looking at records, it appears that Drysdale and his handlers have hand-picked Davidson to lose to one of the best MMA prospects in North America at AFC 4 on November 6th.  They must have looked at Davidson’s record and saw that Davidson had won his last five fights by submission.  Now, Davidson has a good record at 5-1 but Drysdale, the BJJ black belt, would have no fear of Davidson’s submission game so it would be an easy second win for the Xtreme Couture fighter. Davidson hopes to turn Drysdale’s plan awry:

“Of course, his best chance at beating me is on the ground, but he has no secret jiu-jitsu moves.  I know them all too. I feel good, I feel confident, and I have had good fight camp, but I am going to have to fight a different game this time though.  Usually, I go out and try to out-wrestle and Jiu Jitsu my opponent.  I will fight a smart fight – that is how we train and fight at Toshido. I will stand and try to do some damage.  I am going to punch him in the face. I want to try to turn it into a war on the feet.”

That will be easier said than done for the British Columbia native. Surely, Drysdale, with Frank Mir in his corner, will be an imposing figure across the cage? Davidson disagrees:

“After you have faced a guy who throws bombs, like Matt Baker (who Davidson beat twice) who hits like he has bricks for hands, you are not worried about getting tapped out by Drysdale.  I get tapped out every day.  I expect (Drysdale) to be good everywhere but I know where he is most comfortable.  I am very confident of my chances against Drysdale. I know how hard I have trained.  I have a hard time believing that he has trained as hard as me.  I have been to other clubs and I have been to Xtreme Couture and they don’t train as hard as we do at Toshido. I couldn’t be more confident heading into the fight.”

As for former UFC champion Frank Mir in Drysdale’s corner, Davidson is unconcerned:

“When I lost to Dwayne Lewis, he had Pat Miletich in his corner. That intimidated me. That was before Toshido. Now, I believe that I have the best coach in the world.  I don’t just believe it, I know it.  Sparring with David is such a confidence builder.  I know Drysdale has great coaches too.  Frank Mir will be there and that does not worry me. I have the best in my corner.”

Davidson, 32, was a hockey goalie until he was 20. He went as far as the BC junior leagues and then quit. After quitting hockey, he partied until he was 29 and got into a lot of scuffles along the way.

“I woke up one day and wanted to clean my life up.  I always fought on the street and in hockey.  I tried one MMA fight and lost, but I really knew nothing about (MMA).”

After fighting Dwayne Lewis after a few months of MMA training, Davidson moved to Kelowna to join Team Toshido – home of Rory MacDonald, Gary Wright, Tim Jenson, and, most importantly, David Lea. Davidson found himself a home at Toshida and Lea has been an integral figure in Davidson’s life ever since.  Lea has taught him everything he knows over the last three years and he knows his teammates have his back.  Clay also knows that the majority of fans have already given Drydale his second victory before the two have even stepped on the weigh scales.

“As long as my Team Toshido guys are behind me, that is all that matters,” says Davidson, who is obviously focused on his MMA career and intensely focused on this fight.

I think Drysdale sees me as just a Jiu Jitsu guy and it will be a good match up for him.  He does not realize that he is facing a fighter from the best MMA club in Canada.  I am in great condition and had a long, long grueling camp.  Now the fun part is left.  I am looking forward to having a war on Saturday.”

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