After suffering a loss in his professional debut, Davis built a promising two-fight win streak in a pair of 2019 appearances before disaster struck.
"I had a really bad injury," Davis explained. "I had an ACL tear that I got from training, so I've just been recovering from that. ACL tears aren't the easiest thing to deal with. Neither is the surgery afterward, so just been recovering with that."
Davis suffered the injury in training in early 2020 and initially thought he could work through it, but when the pain didn't subside, he realized that wasn't going to happen.
"I didn't know that it was originally torn," Davis said. "Once it happened, I kind of just gave it some time and went to physical therapy right away. Afterward, I waited and thought that after the eight weeks of PT, I thought I was going to be able to come back. I wasn't able to in the summertime.
"I kept kind of trying to avoid hearing bad news that surgery was going to have to happen, and then September of that same year, that's when I ended up getting surgery."
During his recovery, Davis did his best to stay busy with any kind of training he could do that didn't involve his knee, but he admits it was difficult not being able to maintain a full regimen so early in his career.
"As far as the emotions, it was a lot," Davis admitted. "It was really hard to maintain focus on what the ultimate goal was and still knowing that I've still got a shot at this."
Davis even briefly considered walking away from the sport. While he had shown great promise during his amateur career and the early days of his professional run, "Black Panther" also has responsibilities outside of the cage.
"Reality sets in of what you've got to do for your family," Davis said. "My 4-year-old son, what's best for him, I'll always have him as priority, Ezekiel. So just thinking about him and all reality sets in, but at the same time, everything works out.
"I've got to thank my management team, Maximum Effort Sports Management. They helped me along the way the whole time, with Jim Halligan. He's helped me completely the whole time. Been right with me every step of the way. Without him, it wouldn't have been easy at all."
Two long years of work done, Davis (2-1) finally gets his chance to compete again at CFFC 108, where he takes on Will Spann (1-0) in a flyweight matchup that streams live on UFC Fight Pass from Parx Casino in Bensalem, Penn.
Facing an undefeated prospect, Davis knows he's not getting anything handed to him in his return.
"I just want to fight," Davis said. "I mean, CFFC, you're going to get the tough guys, and that's why I fight for them. I want the toughest guys. I want to get the toughest competition to basically just prepare me for what the ultimate goal is, and that's to make it to the league."
In many ways, just stepping back into the cage already represents a victory for Davis, but he's not comfortable leaving it at that. Davis has big plans moving forward, and his setback behind, it's time to get to work.
"I need to make a statement," Davis said. "A two-year layoff or just an injury, anybody's going to write you off, you know what I mean? So I do feel that.
"I do feel like I need to go in there and make a statement and prove to people that I belong there and that I do have potential. The sky's the limit for me."
This story first published at CFFC.tv.