Alexis Davis (14-5, 1-0 UFC) vs. Liz Carmouche (9-3, 1-1 UFC), at UFC Fight for the Troops 3
On tap for the co-main event of this card is what should be quite an interesting and exciting match up featuring 2 respected veterans in the WMMA scene. Alexis Davis is a legitimate veteran of the fight game making her pro debut in 2007 and has been in there with most of the other respected veteran WMMA fighters so far in her career. As her record and her spot on this card reflect, she should not be taken lightly by anyone in her division. Of the 5 loses on Alexis’ record, one was her pro MMA debut against an already scary Sarah Kaufman, one was a cut stoppage and WMMA “fight of the year” candidate to Tara LaRossa, and in another she took a fight with Shayna Baszler on two weeks notice and made the CSW rep fight tooth-n-nail to earn her unanimous decision victory. This was also a loss that Alexis would later avenge in impressive fashion. Alexis’ grappling is her most effective weapon for sure. She got her start with Japanese Jujutsu and later added Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, today she holds a black belt in both. An offense-oriented grappler, Alexis is strong on top or on bottom, although she does most of her work from bottom with opponents in her guard. This is due to the fact that her wrestling could be a bit better. Her guard is very active and she regularly chains together submission attempts from this position. On the feet Alexis can be somewhat plodding at times but her actual strikes are clean and land with authority, especially her straight right and leg kicks. Not the most athletic woman in the cage but has good static strength and is a good size for the weight class. These are strengths she knows how to play to.
Liz Carmouche should be familiar to most since she was half of the first WMMA fight in UFC history. A situation she did very well in especially considering she was not the first choice to challenge champ Ronda Rousey. She stepped into a high pressure situation and did not disappoint, even in losing to Ronda in the actual fight. Liz is a fun fighter to watch. She is full of energy and every facet of her game appears top notch. Her striking is diverse, aggressive, and powerful and so far her chin has held up to some good strikers in Colleen Schneider and especially Kaitlin Young who tagged Liz with some hard punches in their fight. The fact that her striking defense was such that her chin had to be good against Young may be cause for concern in the future but is less likely to get her in to trouble against Alexis Davis. Carmouche is adept at mixing things up as well and she can hang with most in the clinch, wrestling, and grappling games. She can shoot singles and doubles and her trip takedowns can be a thing of beauty. On the floor, the creativity and scrappiness of Carmouche benefits her offense and her defense and allows her to capitalize on some positions that others might miss and get out of some trouble spots that others would be finished in. A great gas tank, awesome athleticism, and an eager gameness round out the toolbox of Liz Carmouche.
Like many fights, this fight can be viewed as a battle of opposites. Will it be the bigger, stronger, grinder, in Alexis Davis that comes out on top? Or will the athleticism, speed, and dynamic skill set of Liz Carmouche prevail? As is often the case at the highest levels of MMA, it will most likely come down to who is on their A-game that particular day and who can better impose their will on the other woman. Both fighters are tough as nails and not likely to quit so I would not be surprised to see this end in a split decision, nor would I be surprised to see a finish. A tough fight to pick for sure. Davis will do her best to slow down Carmouche with clinch work and will wrap Liz up in that high guard of hers, but in the end I’m going with the old adage, “speed kills”, and picking Liz Carmouche to win this, probably by a TKO stoppage in the 2nd or 3rd round.