In the co-main event of UFC 175 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey (9-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) once again puts her belt on the line, this time against Canada's Alexis Davis (16-5 MMA, 3-0 UFC). It's Rousey's 4th title defense in the UFC and her 3rd in less than 7 months, and both women are competing for the 2nd time this year.
Rousey is coming off of yet another 1st round stoppage win, but this time it wasn't her famous armbar that did the trick, but a hard knee to the body. Davis has gone the distance in all of her UFC fights, and her grappling acumen makes her anything but a pushover for Rousey on the ground.The UFC 175 main card kicks off live on PPV at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT, with prelims preceding it on Fox Sports 1 at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT.
How do these two stack up?
Rousey: 27 years old | 5'7" | 66" reach
Davis: 29 years old | 5'6" | 68" reach
How have these two done lately?
Rousey: W - Sara McMann (TKO) | W - Miesha Tate (SUB) | W - Liz Carmouche (SUB)
Davis: W - Jessica Eye (SD) | W - Liz Carmouche (UD) | W - Rosi Sexton (UD)
How did these two get here?
Rousey needed just over a minute to dispatch Sara McMann at UFC 170, kneeing her to the body and forcing (to some) a rather quick stoppage by referee Herb Dean. As debatable as the stoppage was, the result still stands as Rousey's first KO/TKO win, and it comes right after she was pushed past the opening round for the first time in her rematch with Miesha Tate back in December. While her trademark is her judo background and vicious armbars, her improvement in her striking and overall game is something that the whole division should be extremely weary of.
Davis is a Cesar Gracie black belt in BJJ, and has parlayed that into a status as one of the top women's 135ers in the world. She's won 5 straight fights, including a pair of submissions in Invicta, but she's bene unable to get a finish in the UFC. Perhaps a case of jitters, she struggled to get past the undersized Rosi Sexton before dominating Liz Carmouche in November and then squeaking past Jessica Eye at UFC 170. Rousey feels very confident in her skills against any high-level BJJ practitioner, and Davis is arguably the best one she's faced to date.
Why should you care?
Rousey is one of the few "must-see" fighters with mainstream appeal, and her dominance has been a large part of her rise to stardom. Alexis Davis is quite possibly Rousey's biggest test to date, and I think we're in for a good fight.