FRESNO, Calif. – Liz Carmouche already is part of UFC history, but on Saturday she’s eyeing a rebirth.
Carmouche (11-5 MMA, 3-3 UFC) fights Alexis Davis (18-7 MMA, 5-2 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 123 in a rematch of a fight from about four years ago that Davis won. But as far as Carmouche is concerned, you can take that fight and throw it out the window, and toss out her 3-3 UFC record while you’re at it.
Carmouche and Davis are making the drop from bantamweight to the UFC’s new women’s flyweight division, and Carmouche believes everything changes now.
“To me, what this fight on Saturday represents is a clean, blank slate,” Carmouche told MMAjunkie this week. “At 125, I don’t have a record. … This is a chance to recreate, to redefine, to discover new things about myself.”
UFC Fight Night 123 takes place Saturday at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif., and it airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass. Carmouche’s fight with Davis is the featured bout on the prelims to close out that portion of the card on FS1.
Carmouche fought in the first women’s fight in UFC history when she took on Ronda Rousey for the women’s bantamweight title. And though she gave Rousey a scare in the first round when she took her back standing, ultimately she tapped to an armbar late in the first frame.
Carmouche has gone 3-2 since then, but the pace hasn’t been quite what she’d like. After the loss to Rousey, she fought two more times in 2013, but then just once each in 2014, 2015 and 2016. The rematch with Davis will be her first fight of 2017.
But this time, she believes the time off of about 13 months has worked to her advantage. It allowed her to make a more natural cut to her new weight class.
“A lot has changed in preparation,” she said. “We anticipated 125 coming around – we knew it was around the corner, kind of heard the rumors. So (I was) trying to make sure to do it as healthy as possible. Instead of being that person where, ‘OK, now that I got the phone call, I’m going to get ready for the fight,’ we started back in February. … It was, let’s evolve into this weight and let your body do it the right way. We started early on so I could be set and come into fight week ready to go – injury-free and excited.”
She also believes she’ll be a new fighter at flyweight. If nothing else, if Davis thinks she’s fighting the same woman she took a unanimous decision from four years ago, she’ll have another thing coming.
“The mistakes I made, in concrete there was no doubt I knew what happened in that (first) Alexis Davis fight,” Carmouche said. “I didn’t show up as that fighter. I had my own things going on and I let them get in the way that fight. She won that fight, and I’ll never take that from her. You can be sick, you can be broken, you can be torn – physically, mentally, it doesn’t matter. They won that fight. … But the fighter she’s fighting Saturday is not the person she fought before.”
For more from Carmouche, check out the full video interview above.
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Liz Carmouche ready to wipe the slate clean with fresh UFC start in flyweight division