Liz Carmouche sports eight finishes among her nine victories. | Photo: D. Mandel/Sherdog.com
BantamweightsLiz Carmouche (9-3, 1-1 UFC) vs. Alexis Davis (14-5, 1-0 UFC)
The Matchup: A former U.S. Marine, Carmouche should be another crowd favorite. After giving a valiant effort in falling to Ronda Rousey in the first-ever UFC women’s bout, the “Girl-Rilla” returned to her dominating ways against Jessica Andrade at UFC on Fox 8. The Invicta Fighting Championships veteran overwhelmed her young opponent through takedowns and ground-and-pound, a common theme in many of her bouts.
Davis presents an interesting stylistic matchup because, like Carmouche, she prefers to bully her foes in tie-ups before taking them down and looking to advance position on the ground. This approach was on display at UFC 161, where Davis took advantage of her superior size to earn a unanimous decision over Rosi Sexton. However, the former Strikeforce competitor did lose some steam in the final stanza, where she allowed Sexton to take top position in a scramble and attack with ground-and-pound. It was not enough to change the final verdict, but conditioning could be a concern in a bout that will likely spend extended periods contested in the clinch.
While the two bantamweights have their similarities, Carmouche is probably the more physical fighter overall. She is extremely powerful with her wrestling and can land forceful ground-and-pound when given the opportunity. However, she has proven vulnerable to a crafty submission game; after dominating Marloes Coenen for the majority of their 2011 Strikeforce encounter, Carmouche succumbed to a triangle choke in the fourth round.
This is where Davis will have to find her opening, because simply overpowering Carmouche will be a losing proposition. Instead, the Canadian must be creative in scrambles and transitions. Davis has an entire arsenal of submissions at her disposal and has notably tapped the likes of Hitomi Akano and Shayna Baszler.
Standup could be the variable that decides the outcome. Both women are somewhat limited in this area, so whoever can land the most effectively during exchanges will have an important advantage.
The Pick: Carmouche is one of the most imposing women in the division. She outwrestles Davis and survives a few submission attempts to win via decision or late TKO.
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