Canadian veteran Alexis Davis, fighting for the first time in 19 months, gave Sabina (Colombian Queen) Mazo a reality check en route to a unanimous decision win Saturday night on a UFC Fight Night card.
The judges scored it 30-27, 30-27, 30-26 for Davis, who used her grappling skills to blunt Mazo’s striking talent.
The 36-year-old Davis (20-10-0), who had shoulder surgery in early 2020, came into the bout on a three-fight losing streak. The 23-year-old Mazo (9-2-0) had won her last three fights.
Mazo looked to keep the flyweight matchup on the feet against Davis, who fought for the UFC bantamweight title in 2014, And she showed fast hands early in the fight until she went down trying to land a kick. Davis, a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, got side control and then took Mazo’s back, finishing the round in control.
Davis kept lashing Mazo’s lead leg with kicks in the second round, looking to blunt Mazo’s striking edge. The Canadian took Mazo down late in the round.
Davis used her ground skills to control Mazo, a former Legacy Fighting Alliance flyweight champion.
“I like being on the ground. I’m comfortable there,” said Davis, a native of Port Colborne, Ont. who now makes her home in California.
Saturday’s main event at the UFC’s Apex production facility pitted Suriname’s Jairzinho (Bigi Boy) Rozenstruik, ranked fourth among UFC heavyweight contenders against No 7 Cyril (Bon Gamin) Gane of France.
Davis had her first pro fight in 2007, competing in Strikeforce and Invicta FC before moving to the UFC in 2013.
After three straight wins in the promotion, she faced (Rowdy) Ronda Rousey for the UFC bantamweight title at UFC 175. Rousey, then unbeaten and a 10-1 favourite, won in just 16 seconds.
Davis won three of her next four fights and took time off to have her son before dropping her last three outings.
Davis lost a decision to Viviane Araujo last time out at UFC 240 in Edmonton in July 2019. The defeat prompted her to seek help for her shoulder which had been damaged two fights earlier against Katlyn Chookagian in July 2018.
Davis moved back to bantamweight (135 pounds) after four fights as a flyweight (125 pounds). She is currently ranked 11th among flyweights.
The five-foot-six Davis, who is 7-5-0 in the UFC, made the move because she had had more success as a 135-pounder and because it makes for less stress.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 27, 2021.