Adversity fuels local’s title shot

Published 2:31 pm Friday, September 25, 2015

By Anthony Richards | Special to the Advertiser

Alvin “Dangerous” Davis has been proving others wrong his entire life.

That doubt has become the catalyst of a successful career in mixed martial arts that is on the brink of professional status.

In recent months, Davis, 29, has positioned himself as a rising contender in the MMA world. As a result of his hard work, he has earned a shot at the Valor Lightweight Championship.

Title bout: Clanton native Alvin Davis will fight for the Valor Lightweight Championship on Oct. 17 in Knoxville, Tenn. (Contributed photo)

Title bout: Clanton native Alvin Davis will fight for the Valor Lightweight Championship on Oct. 17 in Knoxville, Tenn. (Contributed photo)

Playing a major role in his current success is the time that he spent as a child in Clanton. Those experiences continue to steer Davis’ life both in and out of the cage.

“My family moved around more than the usual family,” Davis said. “I always represent Clanton because that’s where I came from.”

When he was 17 years old, he moved to Indiana to live with his father. While he was there, he began boxing and competed in his first match. He would later return to Alabama and made the transition to MMA.

“I didn’t know anything more than a jab, but I was fighting people MMA style,” Davis said. “I was inspired by learning the various arts of wrestling.”

Having gone through some turbulent times while growing up, Davis eventually grew to understand that his path in life was not pre-determined.

“It taught me to be tough,” Davis said. “If I didn’t have heart back then, I would have crumbled. “It’s not hard to fall into that groove when trouble is just waiting for you, but I wanted to do something better with my life.”

Davis’ fighting record does not claim the top priority in his life. That belongs to his family as he concentrates on the role of being a father of six kids.

At the end of the day, MMA is an opportunity to help pave a path that offers his children a more hopeful life and a brighter future.

“It’s a tough thing to balance, but I keep my kids involved,” Davis said. “When I was a kid, it was stressful. There’s a time for being a kid and a time for being an adult, and I just want them to focus on being a kid.”

The next phase involves making the leap from amateur to the professional level, which has been at the root of Davis’ long term plan. It has been quite a journey from the unsanctioned fights that he would take on in the early going.

“It is going to open a lot of doors for my family,” Davis said. “It has been a long time to get to this point. I’ve seen so many come and go, but I want to be the one whose hand they’re raising at the end.”

Those early fights provided him with the nickname “Dangerous” as Davis found success and won fights that most people thought he had no business winning. He continues to promote the name with every fight that passes.

“So far I have completed every goal that I’ve written down,” Davis said. “There are big things in the future.”

While many fighters tend to favor one style over another, Davis takes pride in embracing an array of expertise. Whether it is a throw-down or the intricacies of wrestling, victory is the ultimate outcome once he steps into the cage.

“Once I get in the cage, I’m just an old-school banger,” Davis said. “I’m trained so that I’m prepared for it all.”

It became even clearer that a career within MMA was a realistic possibility once Davis began to train alongside UFC fighter and fellow Alabamian Walt “The Big Ticket” Harris.

“To have UFC fighters look you in the face and tell you that you have what it takes, who else do you need [recognition] from,” Davis said.

Davis has fought in nearly 60 unsanctioned fights, but his official record sits at 4-1 with one win by way of knockout.

He is preparing for his first title bout, against Damir Ferhatbegovic on Oct. 17 at The International in Knoxville, Tenn.

“I was a runt back in school and was always the kid getting picked on,” Davis said. “It’s not the violent part of MMA that I enjoy. Instead, it has calmed me down. It taught me discipline and that consistency pays off.”