Karyn Bryant believes the blueprint for success has been set before Alexis Davis. And, unlike many others, she has the tools to execute the plan.
Davis will challenge Ronda Rousey for the UFC female bantamweight title this Saturday night at UFC 175. Following five straight wins, including three inside the Octagon, Davis will take on the ultimate challenge in the unbeaten Rousey.
“I think Alexis needs to be an offensive jiu-jitsu player,” said Bryant, during a recent interview with FightLine. “A lot of women go in there and are worried about the armbar, trying to defend it. With Alexis’ background, being a black belt in jiu-jitsu, she knows how to be offensive.
“It is important for her to stick and move, not engaging with Ronda. We saw that (when Rousey fought) Miesha Tate.”
Davis (16-5) scored a split decision over Jessica Eye earlier this year following 2013 decision wins over Liz Carmouche and Rosi Sexton. Her last loss came in Strikeforce two years ago to Sarah Kaufman, while she also holds wins over Shayna Baszler, Amanda Nunes and Julie Kedzie to her credit.
“Alexis sounds very cheerful, playful and ready to have a good time,” Bryant said. “She knows all the pressure is on Ronda, which I agree with. Alexis has to go in there, look at Ronda as just another opponent and not everything that comes with it.
“This is an opportunity for Alexis that she can take full-advantage of.”
The Canadian-born Davis holds black belts in two disciplines of jiu-jitsu and held the Raging Wolf MMA bantamweight title. Of her 16 wins, seven have been submission victories and she has yet to be submitted in her career.
Rousey, of course, owns eight of nine wins via submission – all of which were with the armbar.
“Alexis gets on the ground for training and fighting a lot,” Bryant said. “She’s been doing jiu-jitsu for some time now and really put forward an offensive game. She’s going to have to do that to find success (vs. Rousey).”
We’ll have more this week on FightLine from Bryant, who will anchor most of the UFC programming on FOX Sports 1, as she discusses Rousey and talks about the main event at UFC 175 between Chris Weidman and Lyoto Machida.