After four years of working her way up the ranks, women’s 135-pound fighter Alexis Davis finally got her shot at in a major MMA promotion when she took on Julie Kedzie at last week’s Strikeforce and M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Henderson event.
And for a fighter who has always had to work for everything she’s gotten, her win over fellow Kedzie wasn’t easy.
“I’m the type of fighter that I’m always moving forward and trying to push the pace, and she was able to control that by keeping the space and distance,” said Davis. “When we did clinch, she has a strong enough wrestling background that it was difficult to take her down.
“I was stronger in the clinch and tried to stay aggressive and keep moving. I was actually a little bit surprised that I was as strong as I was, and I think that’s what won it for me.”
Davis told MMAWeekly.com that the win represents the biggest step forward of her career to date.
“This is fantastic for me to have a win in my first fight for Strikeforce,” she said. “I feel like they’re really trying to push the 135-pound division and I’m really glad to be part of that. Hopefully I can work my way up through the food chain within the next year and get a title shot.”
Fighting on the undercard allowed Davis the opportunity to watch the evening’s 135-pound women’s title fight between Marloes Coenen and Miesha Tate. Having seen them both in action, and having fought former champion Sarah Kaufman (who is next in line for Tate’s title), Davis feels she can match up well with the top in the division.
“I would be happy to fight either one of them,” she said. “Even if it wasn’t for a title shot, I’d fight Miesha anyway, she’s a great competitor.
“I think I can match up pretty well with them. Being that I have fought some of the top women in the sport like Tara (LaRosa) and Shayna (Baszler) – and while maybe not having victories over everyone – I’ve been able to hold my ground.”
Regardless of whom she faces next, Davis hopes she’s impressed Zuffa enough to take on a top level fighter in her next Strikeforce bout.
“That’s the reason why so many women want to sign with them, because you’ll get those quality bouts and get the opportunity to fight the highest-ranked people,” she said. “Hopefully in my next fight, I wouldn’t be surprised if I got a good name (opponent).
“I’m looking to go out there and prove myself, just like everyone else.”
Having seen others get their opportunity before she did, Davis remained stalwart in her quest to get to the top of the woman’s 135-pound weight class, and is now seeing that hard work pay off with her win this past Friday.
She intends to make a name for herself in division and be someone fans can look to for good things coming from her in the future.
“I’m a little disappointed with the way my fight went this weekend, but I hope I get another chance to prove myself out there soon,” she said in closing. “You never know what’s going to happen in the future, but I’m going to be there, and have my gloves on and ready to go.”