UFC 170 Prelims: Alexis Davis Outduels Jessica Eye, Calls for Bantamweight Title Shot

By Brian Knapp Feb 22, 2014
Alexis Davis did just enough.

Timely takedowns, ground-and-pound and a steady stream of leg kicks drove Davis to a split decision over Jessica Eye at UFC 170 “Rousey vs. McMann” on Saturday at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. All three cageside judges scored it 29-28, two of them siding with Davis (16-5, 3-0 UFC).

Eye (10-2, 0-1 UFC) 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 Eye’s lead leg. The 29-year-old Canadian has pieced together a five-fight winning streak.

“I thought it was a great fight,” Davis said. “I knew Jessica would come out hard. She had a lot of adversity she had to overcome during this fight, and she came out stronger than ever. It’s a great victory over a very strong opponent. I should have thrown more leg kicks. I was kind of hesitating in there.”

Afterward, Davis made clear her desire to challenge for the Ultimate Fighting Championship women’s bantamweight crown.

“I’ve got a lot of stuff to work on, but I feel like I’m one of the top female fighters,” she said. “I’ve been fighting hard and have had a lot of tough fights, and I want that next title shot.”

Assuncao Outpoints Newcomer Munhoz

Raphael Assuncao staked his claim as the No. 1 contender at 135 pounds with a unanimous decision over the previously unbeaten Pedro Munhoz in a preliminary bantamweight clash. Assuncao (22-4, 6-1 UFC) swept the scorecards by identical 30-27 marks, recording his sixth consecutive victory.

A short-notice replacement for the injured Francisco Rivera, Munhoz (10-1, 0-1 UFC) held his own in his Octagon debut. However, he found himself outgunned in the standup department against a far more polished and seasoned adversary. Assuncao mixed in takedowns and whacked him with accurate punching combinations throughout the 15-minute encounter, his handy work resulting in visible damage to Munhoz’s left eye.

Prized Prospect Sterling Downs Gibson

Photo: Jeff Bottari/UFC/Zuffa/Getty

Sterling was solid in his UFC debut.
Serra-Longo Fight Team prospect Aljamain Sterling made a strong first impression in his Octagon debut, as he recorded a unanimous decision over Tachi Palace Fights veteran Cody Gibson in a preliminary bantamweight tilt. All three cageside judges scored it the same: 29-28 for the undefeated Sterling (9-0, 1-0 UFC).

The two bantamweights split the first two rounds. In the third, Sterling seized control. He delivered a takedown inside the first 30 seconds, threatened Gibson (11-4, 0-1 UFC) with a brabo choke and then turned to ground-and-pound. Later, Sterling transitioned to the Californian’s back and fished for a fight-ending rear-naked choke before settling for a decision.

The loss halted Gibson’s career-best six-fight winning streak.

Makovsky Wins Fourth Straight

Takedowns, an active top game and effective counterpunching carried former Bellator MMA champion Zach Makovsky to a unanimous decision over Joshua Sampo in an undercard duel at 125 pounds. All three cageside judges scored it for Makovsky (18-4, 2-0 UFC): 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28.

Sampo (11-3, 1-1 UFC) never established a rhythm. Makovsky struck for takedowns in all three rounds, neutralized the onetime Championship Fighting Alliance titleholder on the mat and scored effectively in the standup with step-in knees and straight lefts.

Sampo made a late push in the third round, where he shoved the Philadelphia Fight Factory export to the canvas and attacked him with mild ground-and-pound. However, Makovsky made his way back to an upright position and later countered the takedown with one of his own. The 31-year-old has now rattled off four consecutive victories.

Roufsport’s Koch Dismisses Oliveira

Roufusport representative Erik Koch put away Rafaello Oliveira with blistering first-round ground-and-pound in a preliminary lightweight scrap. Oliveira (17-8, 2-6 UFC) succumbed to the blows 1:24 into round one, as he lost for the fourth time in five outings.

Koch (14-3, 3-2 UFC) floored the AMA Fight Club-based Brazilian with a searing straight left and dove into his guard. A volley of standing-to-ground punches flew next, forcing referee Yves Lavigne to intervene on Oliveira’s behalf. The victory halted Koch’s two-fight losing streak.

Unbeaten Chavez Edges Cedeno

Ernest Chavez kept his perfect professional record intact with a split decision over MMA Masters export Yosdenis Cedeno in an undercard battle at 155 pounds. Two of the three cageside judges scored it for Chavez (7-0, 1-0 UFC): 29-28 and 30-27. A third gave a 29-28 nod to Cedeno (9-3, 0-1 UFC).

Takedowns, top control and ground-and-pound buoyed Chavez in rounds one and two. The 30-year-old Californian mounted Cedeno in the first round and transitioned to his back in the second. Cedeno fought well in bursts, leaning on a steady diet of leg kicks and sneaky right hands. The Cuban karateka made a final push in round three, where he again zeroed in on the legs and also unleashed a series of head kicks. However, the work went for naught on two scorecards.


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