Canadian Alexis Davis scored a unanimous decision over one-time UFC bantamweight title challenger Liz Carmouche as part of the co-main event of Wednesday's "UFC Fight Night: Fight for the Troops 3" event.
Carmouche started quickly, kicking the legs and moving in and out of range. However, Davis, from Port Colbourne, Ont., looked confident in the early going, as she stood firm in the pocket and returned fire. Davis tried to use her jab to establish an offence, but Carmouche stayed at a distance, coming inside only when she was ready to throw.
Davis tried to cut off the cage as the round wore on, but Carmouche stayed in constant motion and worked herself free each time. Still, Davis did control the centre of the cage, and FightMetric live stats showed that she was outstruck by a slim margin of 13-11 in the frame.
Davis again took the centre of the cage in the second round, mixing in low kicks with her attack. However, it was Carmouche who landed the best blow, scoring with a right hand that opened a cut over Davis' left eye early in the frame. Blood would continue to stream down Davis' face throughout the round, but referee Gary Copeland let the two continue. Davis never slowed, walking forward and looking to attack. While Carmouche's speed and footwork kept her out of significant trouble, it was Davis who landed 27 strikes to her opponent's 16.
Davis scored a takedown in the final minute and was able to work herself to side control, where she landed several punches to the body before Carmouche scored a sweep in the closing seconds.
Davis moved quickly inside to start the final round, where she went to work from the clinch. Working knees inside, Davis was the busier fighter, though her cut quickly opened back up and again allowed blood to stream down her face. As they continued to work on the feet, Davis was the aggressor, chopping at the leg and staying busier with her hands. A crisp right hand landed in the final minute, and Davis continued to hold the centre of the octagon. She finished the fight in the clinch, driving knees to the body and trading punches until the final bell.
FightMetric stats showed she landed 69 strikes to Carmouche's 65 while also staying much busier with 190 strikes attempted to her opponent's 113.
Judges awarded Davis the win with scores of 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28.
"It was incredible the first time, but this time it feels a little like home now," Davis said. "I had a great opponent, and I knew it was going to be a war. If you watch any of her fights, all her losses were fights she was winning the whole fight till the last round. She's tough."
Davis (15-5) is now 2-0 in the UFC and boasts a four-fight winning streak. Carmouche (9-4) falls to 1-2.