When she left the Octagon after her fight at UFC 240, Alexis Davis had no idea that she wouldn’t fight again for nearly 20 months. But injuries and the COVID-19 pandemic would play major roles in keeping the Canadian away from competition.
Davis rehabbed and remained confident that when she returned, she would be better than ever. That day has come, as Davis is slated to face the surging Sabina Mazo at UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs Gane.
And now that she is just days away from finally fighting, there is only one thing on Davis’ mind.
“I’m just excited to punch someone in the face.”
“I’ve haven’t been excited for this fight in a long time,” Davis told UFC.com. “It’s a whole new me, a whole new Alexis Davis.”
Even though she’s changed some things up, Davis wants to make sure that this updated version still displays those gritty characteristics that we’ve seen from her in years past. Davis joined the UFC in 2013, becoming one of the first women to fight in the UFC.
The 36-year-old is happy to be considered a veteran, but she’s viewing this fight as a fresh start, a new chance to establish herself as one of the best bantamweights in the UFC.
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“It’s kind of starting over. I don’t want somebody that is going to be an easy fight,” said Davis. “I’m glad they gave me Sabina and it gives me a chance to make my way back up the ladder at bantamweight.”
One thing that Davis knows will be different is the environment, as she will compete in the spectator-less UFC APEX for the first time on Saturday. It’s a new experience that she’s looking forward to, and the part that excites her most is that she knows Mazo is going to be a game opponent.
“I haven’t had the ‘no crowd’ experience or been in the UFC APEX, but I’m definitely excited. I have been out for a while and I’m kind of feeling like it’s a whole new me in general,” said Davis. “I love that she’s young and she’s hungry. She has that personality that she kind of gives off that she’s not going to be intimidated. She’s going to push the pace and she’s going to challenge me and that’s exciting.”
Davis will enter the Octagon on Saturday as the betting underdog, a role that Davis has found herself playing multiple times in her career. And if she’s being honest, that’s where she feels the most comfortable.
“I love being the underdog,” said Davis as she cracked a smile. “This is my 12th fight in the UFC, and this is my first fight week since July of 2019, but I still feel at home. I’m comfortable in this position and I’m just so happy to be back.”
Davis hopes that her 2021 is nothing like her 2020, and believes that with the incredible surge of talent in women’s MMA, it’s a perfect time for her comeback.
“Throughout my career there are those hiccups you have. I like to try to think of it in a positive way since,” said Davis. “I like to think things happen for reason. It’s crazy to think about the last time I fought at bantamweight I felt like it was so small, but now it has exploded. It’s a great experience for me and I look forward to new faces and new challenges.”
Tune into UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik Vs Davis on Saturday February 27th at 8pm/5pm ETPT to see Davis’ return to the Octagon. The fights will be exclusively shown on ESPN+.