Marcus Davis: Dave Mandel | Sherdog.com
“Ultimate Fighter” season two competitor Marcus Davis will make the drop from welterweight to lightweight to take on hard-punching Jeremy Stephens at UFC 125 on New Years Day from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
The matchup was first reported by MMAjunkie.com Wednesday morning, and Sherdog has confirmed the fight with sources close to the negotiations.
After Davis made it known that a drop to lightweight might be in his future, Stephens fired up his Twitter account and lobbied to become his first opponent at 155-pounds.
Davis has lost three of his last four fights, most recently succumbing to a Nate Diaz guillotine choke at UFC 118 in August. Prior to that loss, “The Irish Hand Grenade” scored a second-round TKO over Jonathan Goulet at UFC 113. Back-to-back defeats preceded the Goulet victory, however, as Davis was edged out by Dan Hardy at UFC 99 and decimated by the knees of Ben Saunders at UFC 106.
After his stint on “The Ultimate Fighter,” Davis made his official promotional debut at “Ortiz vs. Shamrock 3” in 2006, submitting Forrest Petz by guillotine. The 37-year-old would go on to win his next five fights in the Octagon before running into Mike Swick at UFC 85 in 2008. A former pro boxer, Davis holds only six of his career 17 victories by knockout. By contrast, eight of his wins have come by way of submission.
Stephens is fresh off a close, split decision loss to Melvin Guillard at UFC 119 in September. Prior to that fight, The Arena product had won back-to-back fights, including a “fight of the night” performance at UFC 113 against Sam Stout and a “knockout of the night” showing versus Justin Buchholz at Fight Night 19. Stephens is known for his heavy hands and has earned 13 of his career 18 wins by knockout. The 24-year old has had mixed results inside the Octagon since his debut at UFC 71, going just 5-5 in his time with the promotion.
The card will be headlined by a rematch between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard for Edgar’s lightweight title. Maynard won the first matchup, earning a unanimous decision over the future champion at UFC Fight Night in April of 2008. Also appearing on the card will be pound-for-pound great Jose Aldo as he defends his newly christened UFC featherweight title against top contender Josh Grispi in the co-main event.