UFC 161: Winnipeggers Excited for Inaugural Card

UFC 161: Winnipeggers Excited for Inaugural Card

In front of a large Winnipeg crowd at The Met, the Ultimate Fighting Championship held their first press conference for UFC 161 since announcing the card back in early March. Tom Wright, Director of Operations for UFC Canada lead the conference bringing with him the two men who will square off in the main event of UFC 161; interim bantam weight champion, Renan Barao and challenger Eddie Wineland, as well as female fighter Alexis Davis who will also be competing on the card. Winnipeggers got their first taste of the UFC’s famous accessibility and hospitality with Wineland posing for pictures and signing autographs before the press conference, and sharing cake with the crowd afterwards as they surprised Mr. Wright for his birthday.

Alexis Davis made her pro debut in Winnipeg back in April of 2007. She returns to Winnipeg making her UFC debut June 15 taking on British fighter Rosi Sexton. I had the pleasure of catching up with the Canadian mixed martial artist following the conference.

BIG MARV: Did you know you would be fighting in Winnipeg before you knew who your opponent was?

ALEXIS DAVIS: (laughs) Yeah. They told me they wanted me to fight at (UFC) 161. So I just started training like I always do. I didn’t find out I was fighting Rosi (Sexton) until the day everyone announced it.

BM: What did you think when you heard it was Rosi Sexton?

AD: I was actually really happy about it. I’m a fan of her fights. So I’m really familiar with her. She comes straight forward and has really good jiu jitsu.
BM: Since you are both known for your BJJ, do you see this being a stand up battle.

AD: I think so, for the most part. But I know Rosi will come hard at me, try to get me up against the fence and take me down from there. So we are really working on defending that.

BM: Other UFC female fighters like Sarah Kauffman also fought on the last Invicta card. Usually UFC doesn’t let fighters compete for other organizations, but is it different for female competitors?

AD: I know they have a good relationship (UFC and Invicta), but I think a lot of this is our contracts were signed as Strikeforce contracts and they allowed us to compete in other organizations. But you had to clear it with them first. I can see it being the same in the UFC, until we get more and more girls fighting in the UFC.

BM: Does this mean women will either have to cut down to 135lbs or fight up from a lower weight class?

AD: I’d actually like to see them add a 125lb division. There are lots of fierce, strong women that compete at that weight class.

BM: Thanks so much for your time, Alexis. Good luck with your training and your fight in June.

AD: Oh no, thank you! This was awesome!

Unfortunately, her opponent , Rosi Sexton could not make it due to her daughter’s 9th birthday party in England. Also missing was UFC President Dana White, who had to cancel last minute.

UFC 161: Barao vs Wineland takes place at MTS Centre on Saturday, June 15. Tickets are reportedly sold out, so be sure to catch it on payperview.

Here is the fight card to date:

  • Renan Barão vs Eddie Wineland
  • Maurício Rua vs Antônio Rogério Nogueira
  • Rashad Evans vs Dan Henderson
  • Pat Barry vs Shawn Jordan
  • Alexis Davis vs Rosi Sexton
  • Jake Shields vs Tyron Woodley
  • Sam Stout vs Isaac Vallie-Flagg
  • Stipe Miocic vs Soa Palelei
  • Ryan Jimmo vs Igor Pokrajac
  • Yves Jabouin vs Dustin Pague
  • Sean Pierson vs T.J. Waldburger
  • Mitch Clarke vs John Maguire