When the UFC announced that a women’s flyweight division was being added and the first ever champion would be crowned through a tournament on “The Ultimate Fighter”, Alexis Davis contemplated taking a shot at the reality show.
As a former title contender in the women’s bantamweight division, Davis has faced the who’s who of fighters over the course of her career including a win over current champion Amanda Nunes as well as victories over the likes of Jessica Eye, Tonya Evinger, and Sarah Kaufman.
The reality for Davis was with a young son at home and knowing that cutting weight down to 125 pounds, three times over the course of six weeks would be rough, she opted against doing “The Ultimate Fighter” and will instead kick off her flyweight career this weekend in a fight against Liz Carmouche at UFC Fight Night in Fresno.
With new champion Nicco Montano still polishing the gold on her newly minted belt, the UFC hasn’t even started contemplating who will be the first contender in line to challenge for the title in 2018 but Davis certainly hopes to change that with a big win on Saturday night.
“That’s my goal no matter what I’m doing whether it’s flyweight or bantamweight. It’s a new division, but in my mind as well as Liz’s mind, a good fight or good win for either one of us is going to bump us up as a top contender,” Davis told MMAWeekly ahead of the fight.
While there were several possibilities for opponents as Davis makes her move to flyweight, she ultimately ended up with a familiar face in Carmouche because they had previously fought in 2013. On that night, Davis got the better of Carmouche by unanimous decision, which begs the question why the UFC decided on a rematch?
According to Davis, there was another opponent in play but for some reason that fighter didn’t end up on her bout agreement and she was more than happy to face Carmouche a second time.
“There was another opponent. You hear things but I don’t know what happened but they ultimately decided on Liz. It’s a great fight, it’s a new division so in my head this is a better opponent,” Davis said. “It helps us both showcase the division because I thought the last fight was pretty awesome. She’s been gunning for revenge since that one and she’s one of my favorite people and we’re both looking for a big win.
Carmouche enters the fight after winning her last two in a row as she also makes the move down to flyweight just like Davis.
On paper this is a rematch but Davis prefers to look at Carmouche fighting at 125 pounds as a whole new challenge, which is why she didn’t shy away from facing her a second time no matter what happened four years ago.
“I have been looking at Liz as a whole new fighter,” Davis said. “You never want to assume they’re going to do anything the same. I imagine she’s going to come out twice as hard as last time.”
Davis isn’t big on predictions because she can’t tell how a fight is going to play out until she’s inside the Octagon but her preparation has been on point throughout the training camp and she’s excited to show off some new tricks at 125 pounds.
Davis has never been a big trash talker during her career and that’s not going to change now, but she hopes to send a message to Montano and the rest of the flyweight division with her win on Saturday night.
“Everyday I’m pushing myself. I’m ready for it,” Davis said about her flyweight debut. “I feel like I’ve improved a lot, even since having my son and it’s a different frame of mind, a different focus.
“I feel like this is going to be a good fight for me and a good division for me.”