If you’re in the online MMA circle, you’re sure to have come across Ben ‘The Bane’ Davis. Whether it be as a commentator, reporter or ring announcer, he has made a name for himself as a recognisable media personality that’s popular with the fanbase.
Earlier this year, Davis made a foray into the world of grappling. He took on submission ace Brad Boulton on short notice at Fury Pro Grappling, ultimately losing via a straight ankle lock.
Despite the loss, Davis was keen to make a return to competition, and he will do just that on September 23rd.
He will make his boxing debut at MF & DAZN: X Series 009. Standing opposite him will be Gabriel Silva, the son of former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
When asked how the fight came about, he told me, “It’s kind of a funny story. I’ve been chirping in the influencer boxing scene for a couple of months now. I’ve been interested in fighting or joining the commentary team, and I was recently in New York covering PFL with Donagh Corby. We were at dinner one night and he was like, “Dude, let me just text Mams [Taylor] and put you on his radar.” Later that night and the next morning, he DM’d and called me and was like, “Do you wanna fight Gabe Silva?”. I was like, “fuck it, why not?”, so here we are.”
I asked if a potential fight with Derek from Betr was on the table, given their interactions on social media, to which he said, “Hopefully, after this one – win, lose or draw – I can get Derek inside the ring, but the problem with Derek is, as you know, he’s a guy who likes to talk but he doesn’t necessarily walk it. He’s a nuisance. An insect in the scene. I don’t anticipate him ever actually competing. He’ll just be screaming into the void, as he usually does. So, after this one, I’d like to take Derek for a couple of rounds, but it’s such a low probability because he’s such a pathetic little man that I don’t know if it’s worth the energy anymore.”
“So, there’s two pathways I could see here,” Davis replied when asked about how he sees the fighting unfolding. “Either he’s gonna come out, blitz me and knock me out early, or I’m gonna survive, execute the gameplan that my coach and I have been cooking up and I’m gonna win either a late TKO or a decision. I think that the whole positioning here is for the son of Anderson Silva to come in here, spark me out on a Misfits card and kick off a great run in influencer boxing. I think that’s what they want to happen, but it’s simply not going to occur. I’m pretty confident in my durability, I’m pretty confident in my conditioning and I think I’m gonna be there later than Gabe wants me there. When he starts getting tired, I’ll start taking over and I’m getting my hand raised. It’s win or die, and I don’t think Gabe has that mentality.”
In response to talk that this fight is just a spectacle showcase, he told me this is far from a circus event; he’s coming to beat Silva and he has every belief that he can get it done. “It’s not a TikToker. It’s not a food reviewer. It’s not someone who gets on a livestream and dances. It’s Gabriel Silva, the son of mixed martial arts icon – arguably the GOAT – Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva. That’s the mentality that I need to have. This is a fight. This is a kid who’s got the world on a silver platter. I’ve not been impressed by his last several fights in kickboxing and Muay Thai. I think that the last name is doing a lot of heavy lifting for him, and I just don’t see him living up to it.”
“I’ve been in camp for about two weeks now, I’ve got a gameplan that’s going to make him unbelievably uncomfortable. I’m gonna give him things that he hasn’t seen before and I’m just gonna be more game than his past opponents. I mean, I’ve watched the tape on this kid. He’s fighting guys that aren’t interested in being there. His debut in boxing was against an 0-6 fighter. That’s pathetic. Now, you’re fighting a broadcaster in me. Do you think your dad was doing that? Do you think your brother, Khalil, is doing that? No, it’s fucking pathetic. I get go in here and, yeah, be counted out, be the underdog and have the world against me. It’s an uphill battle, it’s Gabe Silva, but when I get my hand raised, everybody’s gonna shut the fuck up and go, “He’s actually got some sauce on him.””
I asked him if he was considering a move to mixed martial arts after the fight, given that he has transitioned from submission grappling to boxing. He assured me that a move to the cage could very well be in his future, but his focus is fixed on boxing right now.
“I think we could see a mixed martial arts debut. Fighting in MMA is a box that I’d love to check, but right now, the focus is influencer boxing and putting on those big gloves and getting in the squared circle. I’d love to do commentary for Misfits and maybe some of the other promotions. Obviously, play-by-play is my passion. That’s what I excel the most at. So, I think that if I can fight twice a year on Misfits card or somewhere else and do commentary for whatever other events are in between, that’ll be my best case scenario. That’s the ideal outcome here. I’m not opposed [to MMA]. Talking about that grappling match; 5 days notice against a legit black belt that went seven and a half minutes with the UFC’s Clay Guida before getting subbed. I don’t give a fuck who you are or if I’m experienced or not, I’ll step in and give you all that I’ve got.”
In spite of the odds being against him, Davis sees himself finishing Silva inside the distance. “Let’s swing the hammer on ‘Bane’ via TKO. I think I can get him out of there in the fourth round, when he’s tired and I’m still there, still pushing and pressuring him. A decision – I wouldn’t be mad about that. A win’s a win. I can’t complain.”
The event on which Davis will feature, MF & DAZN: X Series 009, is headlined by Idris Virgo vs Aaron Chalmers and will take place on September 23rd in Newcastle, England.
For more combat sports content, stay tuned to Violent Money TV.
Watch the full interview here!
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Walter Goncalves Aiming For Muay Thai Superstardom Before Returning To MMA
Following a short-lived venture into mixed martial arts, #2-ranked flyweight Muay Thai contender Walter Goncalves is returning to his bread and butter with a declared mission statement.
“Iron Hands” is set to meet Jacob Smith on Saturday, 9th December, at ONE Fight Night 17: Kryklia vs. Roberts inside Bangkok, Thailand’s Lumpinee Boxing Stadium, and he’s planning to reassert himself in the stacked division.
Goncalves stepped into MMA for the first time against Banma Duoji this past June at ONE Fight Night 12. Though he was beaten by the Chinese prodigy that evening, he showcased his potential throughout the gritty affair.
With his debut in the all-encompassing sport out of the way, the Brazilian star is now focused on winning the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Championship. That said, he fully expects to return to MMA down the line.
“As it was my first MMA fight, it was an incredible feeling. There’s no way to describe it. I just know that I want to fight MMA more often, and I’m going to train a lot more for that. One day, I want to be an MMA World Champion,” Goncalves said.
“I want to achieve my goal of becoming a Muay Thai World Champion. I feel like it’s something that’s closest to me as it’s where I feel most confident and comfortable.”
Goncalves’ last Muay Thai victory came at ONE 157 in May 2022, coincidentally the last time fans saw his upcoming foe Smith in action.
The British star’s lone outing in ONE saw him take flyweight Muay Thai king Rodtang Jitmuangnon all three rounds.
He’s been sidelined with injuries since, but Goncalves isn’t taking the Birkenhead banger lightly. He’s a student of the game and has been paying close attention to Smith’s skills ahead of their meeting.
“I watched Jacob Smith’s fight against Rodtang, and I saw that he is a strong guy, that he moves forward all the time, that wherever he hits, he hurts his opponent, and that he also takes hits well,” he analyzed.
“I believe that the strength of my blows will make a difference in this fight in my favor. I’ll try to explore the gaps in his game. I don’t know how it will play out, but I really hope that I can get a knockout victory.”
Hiroki Akimoto Targeting World Title Tilt In Return To ONE Championship
Following an inactive 2023, former ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Champion Hiroki Akimoto is hungry to start the upcoming year with a bid to reclaim the gold.
The Japanese jouster was last seen in action in November 2022 at ONE 163, where he lost the World Title to Petchtanong Petchfergus by a narrow split decision. The belt was later vacated by his Thai rival, however, and Akimoto watched closely when it was contested at ONE Fight Night 16 earlier this month.
On 4th November, reigning bantamweight Muay Thai king Jonathan Haggerty claimed the coveted strap with a second-round knockout of MMA titleholder Fabricio Andrade. Despite an enthralling battle, Akimoto was left unimpressed by both men’s output.
“I expected a fast fight because it was a bantamweight fight, but I didn’t see a lot of speed from both fighters,” he told South China Morning Post.
“I think I have more speed [than them].”
Highly regarded as one of the best kickboxers on the planet, Hiroki Akimoto amassed an impressive 7-1 record in ONE Championship, which included winning the World Title against Capitan Petchyindee in March 2022, before parting ways with the crown.
Now keen to get back to work, the 31-year-old believes his credentials warrant an immediate shot at Haggerty’s newly acquired gold.
He has been waiting for the perfect time to return, and with ONE Championship rumored to be visiting his homeland in early 2024, the Japanese star would love to challenge “The General” in front of his compatriots.
“My skills deserve a title shot. Haggerty versus Akimoto will be the most exciting fight for the fans. That’s why fans are talking about it. That’s the reason I should get the title shot,” Akimoto stated.
“If Haggerty goes to a different division, maybe it’s not me, but if Haggerty is fighting bantamweight kickboxing, the opponent has to be me. If there’s a Japan event, of course, I definitely want to fight there.”
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