Alexis Davis got herself back in the win column Saturday night at UFC 186 in Montreal, and got the Sarah Kaufman monkey off her back at the same time. The fight was a trilogy for the two top ten women’s bantamweight fighters: in their first meeting, Davis’ first professional fight, Kaufman got the upper hand (it was Kaufman’s fourth pro fight). Their second meeting came at one of the biggest women’s MMA events to date: Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Tate, the event that saw Rousey pick up the women’s bantamweight crown and never look back. Again, Kaufman got the win.

At long last in their third meeting, Davis finally got the upper hand, submitting Kaufman by arm bar in the second round. Now the question becomes: who’s next?

Rousey took all of sixteen seconds dispatching Davis in her first crack at the women’s bantamweight title back at UFC 175, and she’ll need a few more convincing wins to get a second crack at the champ. With that in mind, here are a handful of options:

Marion Reneau

It may be a bit of a step back, given she’s currently ranked twelfth in the UFC women’s bantamweight division, but Marion Reneau has proven to be a feisty, tough competitor, and is on a two fight win streak. With Davis having already fought most of the top ten in the division, Reneau would represent a new face, and likely lead to an exciting fight, as she’s been a capable fighter in the octagon thus far.

The reality is, Davis is a couple fights away from another crack at the title — with that in mind, Reneua isn’t a bad option.

Sara McMann

Ranked directly below Davis, who is third, in the UFC official rankings, Sara McMann, while coming off a loss to Meisha Tate, may be the most sensible match-up for Alexis Davis. Both have had long, storied careers in women’s MMA. Both have fought, and lost to, Ronda Rousey. This is the type of fight that would determine who might get a second crack at the champ, and who goes to the back of the line.

It’s also the type of fight that easily takes a slot on a PPV or main card of a Fox Sports card. These are two of the biggest names in WMMA, and need to be given a spotlight.

Miesha Tate/Jessica Eye Winner

Miesha Tate is the next best fighter in the bantamweight division, and she has proven it again and again over the years. On a three fight win streak, she’s up next against Jessica Eye, and the winner could easily be granted the next title shot after Bethe Correia.

The only problem is, Tate has lost to Rousey twice, and while she remains the only fighter to take Rowdy past the first round, it’s uncertain whether fans are really ready to see her get a third fight with Rousey (though she was the incumbent in their first bout).

Davis, meanwhile, has already defeated Eye once, but at this point in the division, rematches are going to be a reality. Eye vs. Davis, should Eye manage to defeat Tate, wouldn’t be a bad one.

Either way, this is a fight that would really fast track Davis. It all depends on where the UFC wants to go next, and what other challengers present themselves.

About The Author

Senior Staff Writer

Covering the sport of MMA from Ontario, Canada, Jay Anderson has been writing for various publications covering sports, technology, and pop culture since 2001. Jay holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Guelph, and a Certificate in Leadership Skills from Humber College under the Ontario Management Development Program. When not slaving at the keyboard, he can be found in the company of his dog, a good book, or getting lost in the woods.