“Who do you fight for?” Mike Davis doesn’t have to think long about the answer.

“I fight for my dad,” he says. “He was murdered when I was four. So when I fight, I fight for him. I want to accomplish things for him.”

For Davis, growing up without a father’s guidance seemed impossible. “After that (his father’s death), I took on the responsibility and duty of two men. I had to help raise my younger siblings. It was just my mom and I, so I had a hard childhood,” says Davis. “ But, then, again, I had no one to teach me how to be a man. I learned everything the hard way.”

Well, not everything. He learned the consequences of bad choices through his friends. On a day when he would normally hang out with his friends, Davis decided to train at the gym instead. A decision made on impulse that changed the course of his life forever. “That day my friends robbed someone and got 7 years in prison. I was 17 at the time and I know I would have definitely been a part of that. I’d be in jail, if I didn’t go train that day.”

Davis’ father must have been watching over him that day.

Today, at 6’0” and 155 pounds, “Beast Boy” is proud to represent his hometown in the Catskills of upstate NY. “I’m definitely representing my hometown and my state. In my personal opinion, people that grow up in the Catskills tend to never leave. It’s a place that people get stuck, if you don’t leave.”

Davis’ opportunity to leave surfaced after his uncle forwarded his resume to a Pro Fight Camp in Orlando, Florida. Determined not to be stuck in the Catskills forever, he jumped at the offer to train at their camp.

Since then, Davis has earned an undefeated MMA amateur record. Nothing but KOs and submissions. He makes his professional debut this Friday at the House of Riverside Beatdown, a Go Fight Live streamed event.

“My pro endeavor has been a crazy story,” he says, “I have been attempting to fight pro since November of 2014. Since then, I have had five people back out of fights. Finally, I was given a worthy fight against the top-ranked featherweight, Richie Denn.”

Davis hopes that by beating Denn this Friday, July 10 at House of Fame’s third MMA event, which will stream live on TheMMACorner.com courtesy of GFL.tv, it will put him on the map. “Because Richie Denn is a big name in Florida and if I beat him, I’ll be the guy who beat Richie Denn. People will start looking at me and I’ll get more exposure, which leads to more promotions and more fights.”

This is all predicated on Davis winning his first pro fight against the number one ranked featherweight; something Davis feels very confident he can do.

“I have faith in my skills and I feel very, very confident that my wrestling background will affect his ability to take me down. It’s going to discourage him and if he tries to strike me, then he’s going to get knocked out. That’s that,” Davis says matter-of-factly.

Down the road, Davis is certain he has a future with the UFC and says his ultimate end game is, “to be a champion in the UFC. I have no doubt I can make it all the way to the top.”

Davis credits his convictions to the life lessons he experienced growing up, learning things the hard way. “If I learned anything,” he says thoughtfully, “it’s to surround yourself with people that share the same goals as you – with people that inspire you…

…and to never forget who you fight for.”