One of the prelims at UFC 186 is a three-round women’s bantamweight bout between Sarah Kaufman and Alexis Davis. According to the current betting lines available at 5Dimes Sportsbook, Kaufman is a -190 favorite (bet $190 to win $100) while Davis is a +165 underdog (bet $100 to win $165). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Kaufman at -245 and Davis at +175, and so far more action has come in on Davis. I disagree with the money coming in on Davis as I like Kaufman to win this fight. Here’s why. Kaufman (17-2, 1 NC) is the former Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion. The 29-year-old Canadian is 1, 1 NC in the UFC with a win over Leslie Smith by decision and a No Contest to Jessica Eye, a fight she originally lost via split decision. Prior to the UFC, Kaufman was the Strikeforce champ and earned wins over the likes of Liz Carmouche, Miesha Tate and her opponent at UFC 186, Davis. Kaufman is a well-rounded fighter who is good everywhere but her strength lies in her striking. She throws accurate, powerful combinations with her hands that damage her opponents, and all told she has 10 career T/KO wins. Standing and trading with Kaufman is not a good idea and doing so often leads to her opponents losing to her. Both of Kaufman’s losses have come via submission, though, so she seems to be weakest on the ground, but considering those losses came to Ronda Rousey and Marloes Coenen, it’s hard to really knock her too much. Kaufman is one of the top contenders at 135lbs, and with a win over Davis she’ll put herself back in line for a UFC women’s bantamweight title shot. Davis (16-6) is 3-1 in the UFC with decision wins over Carmouche, Eye and Rosi Sexton and a KO loss to Rousey. Prior to the UFC she fought in Invicta and Strikeforce, earning wins over the likes of Shayna Baszler, Amanda Nunes and Julie Kedzie, among others. The 30-year-old Canadian is a well-rounded fighter who comes from a muay Thai background and who is especially adept on the ground, having earned seven wins by submission. Offensively Davis is one of the most talented in the division, no doubt. The problem is her defence. Her striking defence is outright terrible and she often uses her face to block punches. She has been knocked out three times, including once by her opponent at UFC 186 in Kaufman, and she is coming off of a long layoff after being knocked out by Rousey in her title fight. Davis is a good fighter, but until she shows she has improved her defence it’s impossible to pick her over someone with the striking acumen of a Kaufman, and that’s why she’s the underdog in the pair’s trilogy fight. I like Kaufman in this fight. We’ve seen these two fight before — twice, actually — and both times Kaufman emerged with her hand victorious. I think Davis has improved over the years, but so has Kaufman. I think this fight plays out similarly to how the pair’s second bout in Strikeforce played out, with the fight staying on the feet and Kaufman landing more accurate, stinging shots that cut Davis open and earn her a decision win on the judges’ cards. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Kaufman was able to wear Davis down and earn a TKO stoppage, especially considering the state of Davis’ chin. Either way, I like Kaufman here, and I actually think she’s undervalued at her current price. Considering the line is lower than where I expected it to be, I think Kaufman is someone to consider for parlays this weekend.
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