Mixed Martial Arts

UFC champ Rousey shows plenty of respect for Canadian Davis

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The Canadian Press
7/2/2014 8:19:14 PM
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LAS VEGAS -- Canadian Alexis Davis modestly describes her fighting skills as "a little of this, a little bit of that."

"Doesn't matter where the fight ends up, I'm pretty comfortable in all positions," she said.

The 29-year-old from Port Colborne, Ont., who fights out of San Jose, looks to use all those tools Saturday against women's bantamweight (Rowdy) Ronda Rousey in the co-main event of UFC 175.

Rousey (9-0) is the gold standard of women's MMA. An Olympic bronze medallist in judo, she has gone on to dominate the women's side of mixed martial arts in defending her 135-pound UFC title three times.

As such, the bookmakers see Rousey as anywhere from a 9-1 to 17-1 favourite against Davis despite the fact both women are 3-0 in the UFC.

Rousey tells a different story.

"She's the most well-rounded fighter I've ever come up against," she said at a public workout Wednesday. "I've always had someone who's predominantly a grappler or striker, who always had that weak area to bring them to. Alexis really doesn't have a weak area, so I just have to be better than her everywhere."

Davis (16-5) has black belts in Brazilian and Japanese jiu-jitsu. And the scars around her eyes show she is not afraid to mix it up.

While quiet by nature, Davis is savouring the buildup to the championship bout.

"I feel like I'm on a rush right now, kind of soaking everything, just enjoying myself," she said.

She will have plenty of support from north of the border, with some 20 family and friends expected to fly down to Vegas.

"It's incredible," she said. "I'm just happy to have them watching on TV. For them to come out, it's awesome that they support me."

Her husband Flavio Ralf Meier doubles as her Brazilian jiu-jitsu coach, so he's already here. The two rolled together at a public workout Wednesday, bowing to each other as the workout ended.

"It has its highs and its lows," a giggling Davis said of having her husband as a coach. "But we're really good at being able to kind of separate what we're doing -- inside the gym and home life. Because you kind of have that balance. Home is like your little sanctuary where you don't have to focus on the fight, you're more worried about what's going on with the kids (three boys from her husband's previous relationship). It's just all about relaxing.

"But when we're inside the gym, if you haven't seen it, I'm choking him just as hard as I'm choking everybody else."

As for the lopsided fight odds against Rousey, Davis is unconcerned.

"I can see why I'm the underdog," she said. "Obviously not only is she the champion and she's been so successful but every single fight she's had has been a finish.

"I don't mind being the underdog ... Less pressure, let her have it all."

Ronda Rousey and Alexis Davis  (Photo: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC UFC/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC UFC/Getty Images)
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