The fight will be aired on the UFC's preliminary card show on Ion TV.
The 38 year old Davis was once considered a contender in the UFC's welterweight division. But after going 2-3 at 170lbs since 2009 he's elected to cut down to 155lbs and try his luck. He was most recently battered and choked out by Nate Diaz at UFC 118. He did KO Jonathan Goulet at UFC 113.
Davis, a former professional boxer, is known for his striking but he's also added a strong submission attack to his arsenal.
Stephens is a young brawler known for his ferocity and raw power. He most recently took a frustrating decision loss to Melvin Guillard at UFC 119. Prior to that he edged out Sam Stout and finished Justin Buchholz.
Bloody Elbow's Duane Finley spoke to Davis before the fight:
"I'm gonna get cut. I'm gonna get beat up. Thank God my wife says that I get sexier and sexier with every new scar I get so I'm gonna look really good by the time I'm my UFC career is over...at least to her anyways. I'm going to get cut that night...I know that and it's a foregone conclusion. I'm going to be in that fight as everybody knows and he's going to have to knock me out or choke me out to get me out of there. I'm not tapping...it's just not happening. I'm going out there, we are going to fight and the better man is coming out with the victory. I'm taking this kid (Stephens) as serious as I've taken any of my other opponents. I've watched a lot of tape on him and know that he is a powerful, aggressive striker. I know that he can wrestle a little bit and these are all things I've planned for. The question is what does he think of me and who shows up that night. It doesn't matter what I've been doing in the gym or the asses I've been kicking this entire camp, what's going to matter is what I do that night inside the cage. It's going to come down to who executes that night at this level."
Bloody Elbow's Leland Roling previewed the action in Davis vs Stephens:
Marcus Davis (17-7, 9-5 UFC) vs. Jeremy Stephens (18-6, 5-5 UFC): Headlining the UFC's recently announced foray into network television on ION TV, Marcus Davis will hope to prove that his gloomy days are behind him as he battles 24-year-old knockout threat Jeremy Stephens in lightweight action. This will be Davis' debut in the 155 pound weight class, and if you thought Davis looked absolutely ripped at 170 pounds -- I can't imagine what he'll look like after shedding fifteen more pounds. While Davis has had problems in the welterweight division, Stephens has found his niche as one of the more exciting fighters in the lightweight division. He isn't afraid to stand and bang his way to bonus money. It hasn't been as successful as he would hope, but at 24 years of age -- he has time to develop while putting on a show for the fans.
It will be interesting to see what Davis brings to the table in a lighter weight class. While I think the cut will hurt his gas tank a bit, his speed in tandem with his boxing should benefit from the move.
Stephens is more of a power puncher than a technician in the stand-up game, and Davis could use his speedier footwork to move in and out of danger while peppering Stephens with a jab. If he can successfully implement that type of gameplan, Stephens will have a rough night trying to catch the Bangor, Maine native.
I'd be lying if I didn't think of the Chris Lytle fight when I heard this match-up was going down at lightweight, but Davis sits in the same doghouse that Phil Baroni currently sits in. We're all doubters until you prove it to us, and we've heard the same song and dance from Davis in the past. Can he deliver this time out? Size will be an issue for Stephens, but I imagine Stephens' toughness and power will give Davis problems. I'll go with Stephens, but don't be surprised if Davis blows our minds with a gutty performance on Saturday night.