Travis Davis | photo by Adam McQuaide
As an outsider looking in, there are some fighters that I’ve just always admired – whether it be the way they carry themselves, their marketing ability, abilities inside the cage, or a combination of all of the above.
A former member of the military police in the Marine Corps, he got his start in mixed martial arts during his time in Japan, relying on a former wrestling career to help propel him to his first victory while still on active duty.
Upon returning to Ohio, he took the amateur MMA scene by storm, posting a 6-0 record and putting on some impressive performances. He blended raw athleticism with strength and power and ran through opponents in weight classes ranging from middleweight to heavyweight.
Once he turned pro, he focused on his striking skills, even competing in a trio of boxing matches, going 3-0 with two knockouts.
He seemed to be on his way to the big show with a 4-0 start to his pro career with all four coming via first round submission, and then he suffered the first defeat of his career – a six second knockout at the hands of Sid Wheeler in the main event during Arnold Sports Festival weekend in his hometown.
To his credit, he bounced back with two more wins, but now he faces a two-fight losing streak for the first time in his career after back-to-back losses to UFC veteran Dom Steele and rising prospect Josh Fremd at Pinnacle FC 18 in December.
“[It] definitely adds pressure,” Davis said of coming off of two straight losses. “But being back in my back yard relives it a bit. I just know that I’m a better fighter than my last two performances; I just need to find my timing relax and do what I do!”
To his credit, Davis has seen what he can do inside and outside of the cage, even teaming up with longtime boxing and MMA promoter Troy Speakman to help out with branding for the newly-formed Ohio Combat League.
It’s not hard to imagine that “Bam Bam” eventually sees himself in a bigger leadership role on the business side of MMA, especially given his entrepreneurial spirit outside of the cage as the owner of his own landscaping company.
But for now, he’ll face the tough Tavae Lewis (3-2) in the main event at OCL I, which goes down at Express Live in Ohio’s capital city on Friday. Lewis comes in from Illinois as the underdog, but he’s a tricky opponent known for finishing fights, as all three of his wins have come via submission.
“I think he has explosive 1-2 punch striking and likes to initiate the takedown,” Davis said. “As you know I’m cool with the ground game, so if that’s where it goes I’ll gladly play that game.”
For all intents and purposes this bout seems like a transitional one for Davis, who at 31 transitions into a role outside of the cage as well as perhaps his last best chance to make a run at fighting for a bigger organization. He also recently signed with a new management team in Iridium Sports Agency.
“To be honest, [previous management] gave me a bad taste in my mouth so when Iridium reached back out to me I weighed my options and went with them,” Davis said. “They’re representing more up and coming fighters to the big leagues (like UFC, PFL, Bellator); some of the other agencies had big names but I prefer good communication and honesty when it comes to my career and brain. I felt like Jason [House] and Jacob [Parga] from Iridium were a good fit for me.”
Limited tickets for OCL I are still available, and if you can’t make it to the event, it will stream live via FloCombat. Davis has a final message to those who support him.
“I’m excited to get back in there and if wasn’t from my family, friends, teammates, fans I wouldn’t be able to do that. Also want to give a shout out to all my sponsors: Miss Mary Janes CBD, Central Ohio Spine & Joint, Thirty Thirty Barbershop, Supzilla, Pursuit, Ronin Training Center, USCryotherapy, Regenerative Medicine Columbus.”
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