According to an April 11 report from MMA Junkie, hard-hitting Canadian striker Alexis Davis (16-5 MMA, 3-0 UFC) has been booked to fight UFC bantamweight champ "Rowdy" Ronda Rousey (9-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) on July 5 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nev. Davis vs Rousey is set to be the co-main of UFC 175.
Davis, 29, had been calling for a UFC title shot against Rousey ever since her win over Liz Carmouche at UFC: Fight for the Troops 3 last Nov., but it seems her split-decision victory over Jessica Eye at UFC 170 was what put her over the top with UFC officials. Is Davis Rousey's toughest test yet under the UFC banner?
No disrespect to Carmouche, Miesha Tate or Sara McMann, but the answer to the aforementioned question is a clear 'yes.' Never before has Rousey taken on a submission ace at the level Davis is at. "Ally-Gator" is a black belt in both Japanese Jujutsu and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, so she presents a lot of danger to Rousey if the action hits the mat.
Rousey, 27, has battled elite strikers such as Sarah Kaufman, and high-level wrestlers such as Sara McMann and Miesha Tate. However, she has never gone up against someone who can match her submission game on the ground. Davis is a legit threat, whether the fight stays standing or goes to the ground.
Seven of Davis' 16 wins have come by way of submission, including five rear-naked chokes and two wins by armbar. Chances are slim that Rousey catches Davis in an armbar as easily as she did her past opponents. Of course, Rousey has shown great improvement in her striking game, but Davis is an elite striker in her own right.
Time will tell how the Rousey vs Davis matchup plays out, but the UFC deserves props for recognizing that Gina Carano wasn't the best opponent for the star judoka. Sure Carano vs Rousey would have sold a lot of pay-per-views, but it would have made a mockery of women's MMA. Davis vs Rousey is less marketable, but will absolutely be a better fight than one featuring Carano.
UFC fans won't have to wait for a July 4th parade for fireworks this year. The July 5th UFC 175 card should provide plenty of fireworks for fight fans of all ages. Besides Rousey vs Davis, UFC 175 features Chris Weidman vs Lyoto Machida and Uriah Hall vs Thiago Santos.
More announcements regarding UFC 175 are expected to be announced in the days and weeks ahead. So far, UFC 175 is shaping up to the be the best UFC card of the new year. With two title fights on the line, UFC 175 is a card that is sure to be a must-see.
Davis fights Rousey for the women's bantamweight strap and Weidman puts his middleweight title on the line against Machida. Weidman was originally slated to fight Vitor Belfort, but Machida stepped in as a late replacement. UFC 175 will be Weidman's first fight since Dec. of last year, while Machida last fought this Feb.