As Ronda Rousey looks to successfully defend her UFC Bantamweight Women’s Title for the third consecutive time, Alexis Davis is looking to pull off one of the biggest upsets in the history of mixed martial arts. Boasting a 16-5 career mark, Davis has truly flown under the radar in MMA circles.
Heading into the July 5 bout at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Rousey vs. Davis (the only females to go 3-0 in UFC) is the co-main event of UFC 175. Sharing the spotlight will be middleweight title-holder Chris Weidman battling Lyoto Machida, a former light-heavyweight champion.
Hailing from Port Colborne, Ontario, Davis is now based out of San Jose, California. Known affectionately as Ally Gator, she has a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and has also practiced Muay thai.
Of note, she owned a 9-4 record when Rousey made her MMA debut in March 2011. Davis has certainly paid her dues in MMA. From earning the Raging Wolf Women’s Flyweight Championship in 2009, to competing at the Strikeforce and Invicta promotions, she is currently as the number 3 pound-for-pound MMA female fighter in the world.
The proud owner of an undefeated 9-0 mark, Rousey is a 10-1 favorite according to the UFC, while Vegas oddmakers have varied with 9-1 to 14-1 odds. With an average fight time of two minutes and 44 seconds, Rousey also possesses a takedown rate of 70.6 per cent.
After Davis suffered a loss to Sarah Kaufman (another Canadian) at a Strikeforce Event in March 2012, she has accumulated five consecutive wins. Of note, her three career UFC fights have all resulted in victories. Beginning on June 15, 2013, she defeated Rosi Sexton at an event in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Less than five months later, she bested Liz Carmouche in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Competing at UFC 170 on February 22, 2014, she won the decision over Jessica Eye. Ironically, all three victories came in the third round.
With Rousey’s signature move being her armbar, it is of the utmost importance that Davis prepares for it. Except for when her victory over Sarah McMann, Rousey has employed it in order to defeat every other opponent. Taking into account that Davis has never submitted in any of her 21 career matches, she may prove to be Rousey’s biggest challenge yet.
Keeping in mind that Rousey has engaged in several movie roles and a growing celebrity status, it would come as no surprise to MMA fans if she was not fully prepared or took Davis for granted. Quite possibly Rousey’s toughest opponent to date, she could end up being the only fighter to take Rousey the distance. Should she manage the upset and defeat Rousey, it would also mark her the third Canadian fighter (and first female) to hold the distinction of being a UFC champion, following Carlos Newton and Georges St. Pierre.