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Alexis
Davis
will one day look back on her accomplishments and
smile.

A staple of the
Ultimate Fighting Championship
’s women’s roster for nearly
eight years and a wildly successful mixed martial artist by most
measures, Davis will attempt to snap a career-worst three fight
losing streak when she meets former
Legacy Fighting Alliance
titleholder Sabina Mazo
on the
UFC Fight Night 186
undercard this Saturday at the UFC Apex in
Las Vegas. The 36-year-old Canadian owns a 6-5 record in the UFC
but still clings to a Top 15 ranking at 125 pounds. Davis has not
competed since she dropped a unanimous decision to Viviane
Araujo
at UFC 240 in July 2019.

As Davis prepares for her confrontation with the once-beaten Mazo,
a look at five moments that have come to define her:

1. Ultimate Feather

Davis stopped future two-division Ultimate Fighting Championship
titleholder Amanda
Nunes
with punches in the second round of their Strikeforce
“Barnett vs. Kharitonov” prelim on Sept. 10, 2011 at the U.S. Bank
Arena in Cincinnati. Nunes succumbed to blows 4:53 into Round 2.
Davis grinded down the “Lioness” in the clinch, and while she ate
her share of punches, she managed to fatigue the Brazilian in close
quarters. Nunes executed a takedown in the second round, only to
have her Canadian counterpart transition immediately to top
position. From there, Davis unleashed her ground-and-pound and
progressed to full mount. Nunes then surrendered her back and,
without means to intelligently defend herself, absorbed a series of
unanswered punches that resulted in the stoppage.

2. Arrival Time

After successful stints in Strikeforce
and
Invicta Fighting Championships
, Davis made her long-awaited
Octagon debut as part of the UFC 161 main card on June 15, 2013 at
the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She did not disappoint, as
she laid claim to a unanimous decision over former
Cage Warriors Fighting Championship
titleholder Rosi Sexton,
drawing 29-28, 29-27 and 29-28 marks from the judges. Davis
utilized her size advantage and potent grappling skills throughout
the 15-minute encounter. She went after Sexton with a triangle
choke in the first round and transitioned to her back in the
second, nearly finishing it with punches and hammerfists in the
closing seconds. Sexton made her move in Round 3, where she
scrambled into top position on the weary Canadian and attacked her
with ground-and-pound. Davis survived and leaned on the two-round
lead she had already banked.

3. In Contention

Timely takedowns, ground-and-pound and a steady stream of leg kicks
drove Davis to a split decision over Jessica Eye
in the featured UFC 170 prelim on Feb. 22, 2014 at the Mandalay Bay
Events Center in Las Vegas. All three cageside judges scored it
29-28: Chris Lee for
Eye, Junichiro Kamijo and Marcos Rosales for Davis. Eye was
effective in spots and particularly so in the clinch, where her
close-quarters boxing skills served her well. However, Davis
remained true to her game plan, scored with takedowns in each of
the first two rounds and utilized kicks of varying intensity to
attack the former
Ring of
Combat
champion’s lead leg. Afterward, the Canadian made clear
her desire to challenge for the Ultimate Fighting Championship
women’s bantamweight crown. The request would eventually land in
the be-careful-what-you-wish-for bin.

4. Getting Rowdy

Ronda
Rousey
retained the undisputed women’s bantamweight
championship with a vicious first-round knockout against Davis in
the UFC 175 co-main event on July 5, 2014 at the Mandalay Bay
Events Center in Las Vegas. Davis succumbed to the blows 16 seconds
into round one, in a most ignominious fashion. Rousey staggered the
Canadian with a crushing straight right to the temple and tossed
her to the canvas, trapping her head and arm in the process. A
stream of unanswered punches to the face followed, separating Davis
from her senses. The defeated challenger then spent several moments
attempting to drag referee Yves Lavigne to the ground—a clear sign
that the stoppage was warranted.

5. Vengeful Motives

Davis submitted Sarah
Kaufman
with an armbar in the second round of their UFC 186
prelim on April 25, 2015 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, avenging
two previous defeats to the former Strikeforce champion. The
longtime Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt brought it to a close 1:52
into Round 2. Kaufman excelled in the pocket for much of the first
five minutes. She fired away with straight punches, held her own in
the clinch and steered clear of the vaunted Davis ground game.
Round 2 was following a similar narrative, until Kaufman made a
mistake for which she paid a heavy price. She wandered into clinch
range, yielded a takedown and surrendered full mount to Davis, who
immediately fished for a topside triangle choke. She then slid to
the bottom and transitioned to a belly-down armbar for the finish.
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