Women’s BantamweightsNR | Sabina Mazo (9-1, 3-1 UFC) vs. #11 FLW | Alexis Davis (19-10, 6-5 UFC)
ODDS: Mazo (-200), Davis (+170)
Two flyweights move up to bantamweight for what should be an enjoyable veteran-versus-prospect affair. Davis is no stranger to 135 pounds, as that is where the Canadian has spent most of her career, including a 2014 title loss against Ronda Rousey. Up until her cut to flyweight, Davis was a stalwart of the bantamweight division. Never the best athlete, Davis managed to rely on durability and aggression to turn her fights into ugly affairs in which she could either grind out a win or score a submission. Her run at 125 pounds did not go nearly as well. Davis scored a win in her divisional debut against fellow former bantamweight Liz Carmouche, but narrow decisions against Katlyn Chookagian and Jennifer Maia did not go her way; and her last fight saw her get pieced up by Viviane Araujo without much issue. It is unclear if this shift back to 135 pounds is a full-time move for Davis, but she looks to turn things around here against a top prospect in Mazo. Colombia’s Mazo put together a strong highlight reel thanks to some head kick knockouts, but her UFC debut showed some cracks in her game. Faced with a similarly sized fighter in Maryna Moroz, Mazo’s attempts to keep her opponent at range were much less effective. To her credit, Mazo has done well to adapt and implement much more pressure and wrestling into her game, though she is still obviously a work in progress. She is still not particularly controlling as a wrestler, and her newfound aggression on the feet tends to leave her open for a strong counter. That makes for an interesting matchup against Davis. Mazo should be able to take this on the feet, but with both women looking to collide with one another, Davis looks to have the strength and savvy to take this fight to the mat. From there, it is unclear how much control Davis can have or how much damage she can inflict on the ground. She is the better submission artist and appears to be the stronger fighter, but Mazo is quickly improving and has the long frame to cause the Canadian some issues. Add in the fact that Davis wears damage about as poorly as any fighter in the UFC, and there is the chance that even if she can control most of the fight, Mazo causes enough damage—in actuality and cosmetically—to take a decision on the scorecards. Still, the bet is that Davis finds enough openings to have her type of fight and generally dictate things. That will be enough to get her the victory, even if this has ugly split decision written all over it. The pick is Davis via decision.
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