Many UFC fans awaited Alexis Davis’ debut at UFC 161 with great excitement. She is seen as the dark horse of the 135-pound women’s division and an exciting fighter at that. Her fan-friendly style, top-notch grappling and tendency to brawl on occasion have won her a number of fans.

In fact, a number of fans believe Davis has the correct tools to be a challenger to Ronda Rousey’s title. Rousey’s strength is her submission grappling, an obvious strength of Davis as well. It would create an interesting chess match.

However, Davis’ stock took a hit in the aftermath of UFC 161 due to her lackluster performance and a fight that overall was not very enthralling. Davis even struggled somewhat against Rosi Sexton, despite the fact that Sexton usually fights a weight class below 135 pounds.

This performance has fans doubting Davis going forward. They now believe she is not ready and that she is not a contender in the division, simply because her performance wasn’t up to the standard of her past encounters with Shayna Baszler and Sarah Kaufman, for example.

That talk is all nonsense. Just because Davis had one bad performance doesn’t mean she isn’t a contender. Everyone has bad nights. That’s why even the best teams in sports other than MMA aren’t undefeated.

My guess is that nerves got to Davis. Not only was she making her debut in the biggest MMA promotion in the world, but she was doing so on home turf. The Canadian had nerves from all of her countrymen cheering in the stands.

You can’t judge a fighter on one performance, good or bad. If we did, Anderson Silva’s loss to Ryo Chonan disputes that he is the best ever, Georges St-Pierre’s loss to Matt Hughes overshadows his wins and Benson Henderson is not a great champion because he doesn’t finish guys.

You have to see the logic. In watching Davis in the past, there is no doubt that she is a top-level women’s bantamweight with a big future and a possible title shot within her reach. Sure, her victory over Sexton isn’t going to win her many fans or instill a feeling of high hope, but she did still win the fight.

Chalk that performance up to Octagon jitters. Certainly, she isn’t the only fighter to have that happen.

Photo: Alexis Davis (Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)

About The Author

Riley Kontek
Staff Writer

Riley Kontek is a Chicago-land native that has been an addict of mixed martial arts since the first Chuck Liddell-Tito Ortiz encounter. He has been writing on MMA for the last year and is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report MMA. In addition to that, he used to host a weekly radio show on MMA. Though he has no formal training in mixed martial arts, Riley is a master in the art of hockey fighting.