Reserved Davis quietly prepares for Rousey


Alexis Davis is just fine with being the other woman.

It’s a feeling most opponents have experienced as they prepare to fight Ronda Rousey, the Ultimate Fighting Championship women’s bantamweight champ.

Davis gets her shot at UFC 175 on Saturday at Mandalay Bay, and, as usual, the focus is squarely on Rousey.

“It doesn’t bother me,” Davis said Monday on a conference call. “It’s fine. I’m going to train the same way regardless. I’m putting everything I have into this camp. When you step into the octagon, what’s going to happen is going to happen, no matter how much people have talked about you.”

Should Davis defeat Rousey, any sense of anonymity would quickly disappear. But Davis knows it won’t be easy.

The 29-year-old Canadian is 3-0 since entering the UFC. But the wins have come by decision, and Davis has faced criticism for tiring late in fights, particularly during a split decision win over Jessica Eye in February.

Davis, 16-5 as a professional, knows she must fix that to beat Rousey in a bout that could go 25 minutes instead of 15, the length of a nontitle fight.

“It’s not just a five-round fight,” Davis said. “It’s potentially a five-round fight against Ronda Rousey. You don’t ever get that five-second break in a round to take a breath, so it’s definitely something I’ve been working on.”

It has been a long path for Davis to get to this point. This by far will be her biggest opportunity in the sport, but one she says she is ready for. She believes she could have risen to a higher level sooner if not for her reserved demeanor.

“I am kind of quiet, and I don’t really speak up when it might be time to do it,” Davis said. “I think if I would have been more vocal, especially early in my career, maybe I would have gotten my chance a little bit sooner. But I think it’s just my time.”

Don’t expect her to start trash talking any time soon, though.

“I think if I tried, I’d kind of feel like an idiot,” she said. “It’s just not who I am. Really, what am I going to say?”

The title fight is one of two on the pay-per-view card. Chris Weidman will defend his middleweight belt against Lyoto Machida in the main event.

■ INTERNATIONAL FIGHT WEEK — The UFC will host a full week of events leading up to cards Saturday and Sunday at Mandalay Bay.

The organization’s annual International Fight Week begins today with a World Cup viewing party at Lagasse’s Stadium. Fans are invited to watch the games with fighters and UFC personalities. The restaurant has food and beverage purchase minimums for tables.

Media sessions with fighters from both cards will be open to the public. An open workout will take place at 1 p.m. Wednesday at Fashion Show Mall. Thursday’s news conference at Mandalay Bay Events Center begins at 10:30 a.m.

“The Art of Fighting” exhibit will be open to the public from Wednesday through Friday at the Contemporary Arts Center at the Alios, 1217 S. Main St.

The UFC will host a 5K run Friday morning at Hogs &Heifers downtown. On Friday night, fighters will be signing autographs at downtown locations, followed by a free concert on Fremont Street featuring Lit, P.O.D. and Papa Roach.

The UFC Fan Expo will be Saturday and Sunday at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.

A full list of events can be found at ufc.com.

Two other Las Vegas-based organizations will host fight cards this week, too.

Tuff-N-Uff will have an amateur show Thursday night at Texas Station, and a Lion Fight Muay Thai card will be Friday at the Palms.

■ SONNEN FAILS SECOND TEST — A second random test administered by the Nevada Athletic Commission appears to call into question former UFC star Chael Sonnen’s claims about why he failed the first test.

Sonnen announced his retirement after a May 23 test came back positive for anastrozole and clomiphene. The results were announced June 10, and Sonnen retired a day later, saying he was on the drugs to help wean off testosterone replacement therapy and to aid in fertility.

A second test conducted June 5 in Portland, Ore., ordered before the results of the first test were known, indicated the presence of human growth hormone and EPO.

The results of the second test were first reported by MMAFighting.com.

Sonnen, who had been scheduled to fight at UFC 175, probably will be disciplined by the NAC, which already issued a temporary suspension, at its next meeting on July 23

Sonnen was fired from his role as an analyst on Fox, according to a statement released by the organization late Monday.

“The UFC and Fox Sports organizations announced today the termination of their respective broadcasting services agreements with analyst Chael Sonnen,” the statement read. “This decision comes in light of Sonnen failing a second test conducted by the Nevada Athletic Commission for banned substances in June.”

Contact reporter Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-224-5509. Follow him on Twitter: @adamhilllvrj.

 

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