Invicta FC 2 is only 48 hours away from unfolding in Kansas City and needless to say I’m stoked! Alexis Davis and Hitomi Akano are not only two of the best bantamweights in the world but they are also two of the best grapplers in all of Women’s MMA. Will these two ground specialists put on an action packed battle on the mat or will they choose to stand and trade? Let’s take a look at the bout and find out…
Hitomi Akano (MMA Record: 18-9, Invicta FC Record: 0-0)
Who she is: Currently ranked seventh in the world at 135 pounds, Akano is essentially the gatekeeper of the women’s bantamweight division. A former Smackgirl champion, Akano has competed against notables in Tara LaRosa, Cris “Cyborg” Santos, Miesha Tate and Invicta FC 2 headliner Sara McMann. She was defeated against all of those opponents but only finished by “Cyborg”. Only the best of the best can get past Akano as she is one of the most dangerous stylistic match-ups in the division.
Her strengths: Judo
Her weaknesses: Striking, takedown defense
Keys to victory: Akano has one of the most deadly submission games in the entire division and has forced 14 opponents to tap out over the course of her career. Her opponent also has a very strong ground game so Akano won’t have an easy time if it hits the mat but that is exactly where “The Girl Fight Monster” needs to take this fight. Davis is a great grappler but she also is a far superior standup fighter so Akano needs to take it to the ground and beat her opponent in a game of grappling chess.
Alexis Davis (MMA Record: 11-5, Invicta FC Record: 0-0)
Who she is: Holding a black belt in Japanese jiu-jitsu and a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Davis is one of the premier grapplers in women’s MMA. This 27 year old Canadian bombshell can also stand and trade with the best strikers in her division as well which she proved in her last fight. It was a back and forth decision loss to #1 contender Sarah Kaufman in Strikeforce that saw both fighters going for broke in a classic battle. Davis is ranked 12th in the world pound-for-pound and sixth in the bantamweight division.
Her strengths: Jiu-Jitsu, striking
Her weaknesses: Lately she has not displayed any notable weaknesses but Akano could certainly find holes
Keys to victory: Davis has more tools in her arsenal than her opponent and while she could definitely hang with Akano on the ground, it wouldn’t be wise to give her opponent that chance. The smartest route for Davis is to keep this fight where Akano is going to be most uncomfortable and that is on the feet.
This is an outstanding co-main event match-up between two phenomenal grapplers. Even with the Kaufman loss, Davis has been on fire as of late and really seems to be on the brink of becoming a star. Akano is a tough draw for her though because while Davis does have a superb ground game, Akano’s is arguably better. Davis has never been submitted in her professional MMA career but if she messes around with Akano too much on the mat, that could change come Saturday night.
However, Davis is the more versatile fighter and should have similar success with Akano that other top ranked fighters have had. Fans can expect to see a very technical battle on the ground with both fighters having their moments of control but ultimately Davis will defend submission attempts, get back to her feet and put a hurting on Akano with her striking.
Alexis Davis def Hitomi Akano via TKO Round 3
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE