Sure, she lost her shot against Ronda Rousey long ago. But why not shake things up, it's not like there's a predictability to the bantamweight division right now…
Amanda Nunes is the bantamweight champion. She'll be having a rematch with Valentina Shevchenko for the belt, after already beating her in one of her earlier title defenses. If the belt changes hands or stays put, then Julianna Pena is likely to be the next title challenger.
But why not have someone like Alexis Davis jump back into contention and disrupt things a bit?
Hear me out
Besides the top three ranked fighters in this division, there's a lot of stagnation amongst the top ten. Besides the Nunes-Shevchenko fight, Liz Carmouche has had injuries, Rousey and Cat Zingano have largely been MIA, de Randamie is in the new division for the long haul, and Pena, Raquel Pennington and Sara McMann also seem to not have any fights in the near future. How about a Pennington-McMann matchup, and then a Pena-Davis matchup?
Regardless of how Nunes-Shevchenko's fight goes, one of the two winners of the next fight should get that next title shot. If Nunes wins, it seems more likely Pena would get the shot; BUT, if Davis beats Pena? There's your Alexis Davis title fight. If Shevchenko defeats Nunes, then it's likely a rematch with Pena; AGAIN, if Davis defeats her….title shot.
Naturally if Davis loses, than it'd likely be the Pennington-McMann winner who would get the title shot, if the UFC wants to shake things up and not have another expected title fight (read: this is what would be likely scheduled even if Davis beat Pena).
How likely is Davis getting that title shot?
Not very likely. With 18 wins and seven losses, Davis doesn't have a bad record, and had a solid win against a fighter making her UFC debut in Cindy Dandois, winning by unanimous decision. If Davis is going to get another fight against a stronger opponent, it likely will come from someone who is climbing the women's bantamweight ladder.
Someone like a Katlyn Chookagian or a Marion Reneau. Reneau might make more sense to the UFC brass, because it'll be a must-win for both fighters. Every loss Davis takes puts her further and further away from any kind of title shot, and the same could ring true for Reneau, who's coming off a draw versus Bethe Correia.
Because the UFC seems so enamored with cash fights lately over interesting matchups that have attention-grabbing storylines, it's likely that Davis isn't a high priority for the organization. That's a mistake. It's not just a mistake to undervalue Davis specifically, it's a mistake to undervalue all of your fighters that have filled up your lineups and had fights that didn't garner the same attention that the title fights did, because no one would watch those fights if they were just the title bouts.
Without those fighters, you won't have your future superstars, and you won't have a league to be a champion in.
Should Alexis Davis get another title shot soon? Or, is Davis going to really get a real shot to work her way back into position for such an opportunity? Share your thoughts below.