Ronda Rousey vs. Alexis Davis: An Early Head-to-Toe Breakdown
UFC 175 is shaping up to be the biggest weekend for the UFC in 2014. The card hosts one of the most anticipated championship bouts of 2014 in a middleweight title clash between Chris Weidman and Lyoto Machida.
In the co-main event, UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey defends her title against Alexis Davis, but that hasn't been talked about as much. Even so, it is a fight that features the best woman in MMA and the outright top contender, which should make for a top storyline.
It's still early, but speculation is running wild. Let's take an early peak at the head-to-toe matchup between Ronda and Davis.
Ronda Rousey earned her first ever stoppage from strikes in her last fight against Sara McMann. Let's not jump on the bandwagon yet, though, as it is still too early to hype up the K-1 Ronda bus.
Ronda, who has obviously improved her striking, is still not to be considered Mike Tyson on the feet. Against Miesha Tate in December, she still showed some holes in both her striking offense and defense. It is something that will be tested early against Davis.
Davis, a jiu-jitsu fighter, has shown in the past some skills on the feet. She has good kicks that lead in for her solid punching ability. She's no knockout artist, but she's technical, as seen against Liz Carmouche.
Body shot on McMann aside, Rousey is not better than Davis on the feet. She has improved, but the Canadian gets the edge here.
Ronda Rousey is not a wrestler, per se. However, she does have some of the best takedowns in women's MMA and even MMA as a whole.
Rousey, an Olympic bronze medalist in judo, has shown an incredible ability to get the fight to the mat. She closes the distance with ease, grabs her opponent and throws her like a ragdoll.
Her trips and throws are very nice. They are works of art, especially when one gets used to the traditional wrestling takedowns we always see in MMA.
Davis isn't bad at securing takedowns, either. However, this is like comparing starting pitcher James Baldwin to Nolan Ryan. The comparison isn't even close.
While Alexis Davis is a jiu-jitsu black belt, she is going up against one of the best grapplers in the sport in Ronda Rousey.
Take a look at the body count Rousey has in her career. Eight of her nine wins have come via submission, armbarring Miesha Tate (twice), Liz Carmouche, Julia Budd, Sarah Kaufman, Ediane Gomes and Charmaine Tweet. That's a real who's-who of featherweights and bantamweights.
Davis is similarly impressive, though her submission ability isn't nearly on par with Rousey. She owns seven subs in 16 wins, including tapouts of Shayna Baszler, Hitomi Akano and Tonya Evinger (twice).
In terms of straight grappling, both women are close. In terms of submission ability, Rousey is on another level.
I like Alexis Davis. I think she is elite among female 135-pounders.
However, Rousey is a special athlete in this sport. She has rarely been in trouble, and even when she has been, she's prevailed like the champion she is.
Rousey will close the distance early like she always does. From there, she will throw Davis to the mat and work her top game.
She will throw ground-and-pound to try to open Davis up. It will be tough to tap the jiu-jitsu black belt, but she will somehow finish the Canadian.
Prediction: Rousey def. Davis via TKO (ground-and-pound)