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Canadian Davis has respect for Carmouche ahead of bout

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The Canadian Press
11/5/2013 6:33:25 PM
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TORONTO -- While UFC bantamweight champion (Rowdy) Ronda Rousey wasted little time giving rival coach Miesha Tate the evil eye on "The Ultimate Fighter," Canadian Alexis Davis has no beef with her opponents.

The 29-year-old from Port Colborne, Ont., has nothing but good things to say about former U.S. marine Liz (Girlrilla) Carmouche ahead of their co-main event Wednesday on the UFC's "Fight for the Troops" televised card in Fort Campbell, Ky.

Carmouche (8-3) is ranked fourth in the UFC among women 135-pounders while Davis (14-5) is sixth.

"I like Liz. She's hilarious," said Davis, who trains out of San Diego. "Her and her coaches, they're awesome, really good. I've said if I wasn't fighting Liz, I'd want her to win.

"Maybe it's just the Canadian in me. But we can separate ourselves. The majority of the women fighters can do that. I can see her at weigh-ins, talk to her and be all cool with her.

"And then in the cage we're both going to fight our hearts out and we're both going to look for that victory. And then, still right after, shake hands, go for a drink and hang out."

Middleweight Tim Kennedy (16-4) takes on American-based Brazilian Rafael (Sapo) Natal (17-4-1) in the main event Wednesday. Kennedy is a former Special Forces sniper who is currently on active duty with the National Guard.

It's the UFC's third "Fight for the Troops" event.

Davis believes there is more of a sisterhood among female fighters because they are smaller in number and because of the Invicta promotion which only showcases women.

"A lot of us have crossed paths, one way or another," she said. "Either fighting on the same event or we go to see one of teammates fight and see them there. Eventually it's almost like everybody knows everybody."

It makes for a special sisterhood of sorts.

"A lot of women have been in the same position that you are,:" said Davis. "We've all kind of had our struggles. So I think that's why there's more of a camaraderie with us."

Some people can't separate friend and foe, however.

"Ronda has the type of personality where it's all business," Davis said.

UFC president Dana White says Rousey gets on with other female fighters. "She just doesn't like Miesha Tate," he added.

But he agrees that female fighters have a sense of solidarity.

"It's smaller-knit group, they've fought on a lot of the same cards. They've kind of been fighting for credibility. And now that they're finally here, they all treat each other really well."

While Davis says she can fight a friend, she won't fight a training partner. It's about respect.

Davis, a former Strikeforce fighter, opened her UFC account in June with a unanimous decision victory over England's Rosi Sexton. The Canadian, a black belt in both Brazilian and Japanese jiu-jitsu, used her grappling skills to subdue Sexton for sections of the Winnipeg fight.

"A lot of pressure. A lot more than I expected," Davis said of her UFC debut.

"A great fight, a great victory for me and now I feel like I can get back to my comfort zone," she added.

Davis demonstrated her toughness against Sexton in the first round when she took repeated blows to the face while trying to sink in a triangle choke.

The Canadian has won three straight since moving to California and attributes that run to the elite training she now gets.

"I used to fight on pure heart before ... now I feel like I'm fighting smarter," she said. "I'm finding my range, my movement, perfecting my technique."

Prior to the move, she was beaten by Victoria's Sarah Kaufman in a fight she says showcased the old Alexis Davis -- "I'm just going out there and I'm just going to bang and I don't care what happens. You kind of take a lot of shots that way."

According to FightMetric, Davis absorbed 135 significant strikes while landing 139 of her own in a majority decision Strikeforce loss in March 2012.

Davis says she is leaving nothing to chance when it comes to cardio training against the 29-year-old Carmouche, who made headlines for taking on Rousey in the UFC's first female fight in February at UFC 157 and for being openly lesbian.

Carmouche bounced back from the Rousey loss to scored a second-round TKO of Jessica Andrade in July.

"Liz Carmouche is a beast. ... She's a pressure fighter, push forward, push against the cage," said Davis. "I don't think I've ever see her gas out or even come close," she added.

Her camp has included some 6:30 a.m. workouts.

"I'm an early riser. I'm like an old person," she joked. "I like to wake up early and go to bed early."

Davis, whose parents will be on hand to see the fight, is still getting over the fact that she is in the co-main event.

"You're going to laugh at me but I'm just totally stoked that I'm on the poster."

Alexis Davis (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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