Thursday, July 3, 2014 | 2 a.m.
Dinner conversations at the Meier/Davis household stray far from the standard fare.
Chats between UFC women’s bantamweight top contender Alexis Davis and her husband, Flavio Meier, can drift into extended discourse about anaconda chokes and scissor sweeps on any given night. Words sometimes lead to practice on the mats a room away.
“Right in the living room, sometimes we’ll train there,” Meier said. “If we think about something we need to work on, it’s ‘Let’s do it right now. Why wait?’”
Most fighters look to their corner men for direction and motivation. When Davis (16-5 MMA, 3-0 UFC) fights Ronda Rousey (9-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) on Saturday in the main event of UFC 175 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, she’ll also find comfort in her corner.
Not only is Meier Davis’ husband, but he’s also her Brazilian jiujitsu coach.
“It has its highs and lows, but we’re really good at separating what we’re doing inside the gym and home life,” Davis said. “You have to have that balance. Home is your little sanctuary where you’re not even focusing on the fight half the time.”
Meier hinted the focus on combat might be skewing above the 50 percent line, at least this time. Because this time, it’s the fight Davis has worked toward her entire career.
This time, it’s the fight that could change everything for Davis. It’s the fight that could turn the 27-year-old Davis from a respected veteran to a UFC champion.
“The big difference is this is a dream and a lifetime opportunity for her,” Meier said. “She wants this. She’s hungry for this. She will get it.”
Meier glows over being along for the ride. Two years ago, he had only ever watched Davis on television, mostly during her run in Strikeforce.
“Even before I met her,” Meier said, “I thought she was an amazing fighter.”
Always seeking new training options, Davis showed up at Caio Terra’s jiujitsu gym in San Jose, Calif., on a random day in 2012. Meier, a first-degree jiujitsu black belt, was one of the coaches on duty.
Meier instructed and rolled with Davis on the mats in what would soon become a regular occurrence on the first day.
“We started training together and fell in love,” Meier said succinctly.
A year later, they were wed. Davis, who’s originally from the small town of Port Colborne, Ontario, two hours south of Toronto, traveled with Meier to his native Rio de Janeiro to get married.
It came after Davis’ UFC debut, a unanimous-decision victory over Rosi Sexton at UFC 161 that put her two victories away from a title shot. But the celebration was cut short.
Davis kept closing in on Rousey, upsetting Liz Carmouche by unanimous decision at UFC Fight For The Troops 3 before squeezing past Jessica Eye by split decision at UFC 170. Meanwhile, Meier was studying Rousey.
He said the process of training for Rousey began long before Davis got the official call to book the fight four months ago. Meier mixed Rousey-centric drills into Davis’ training right after the Eye victory.
Davis’ strong showings in those sessions convinced husband that wife was ready to pull off one of the biggest upsets in UFC history.
“When I’m inside the gym, if you haven’t seen, I’m choking him just as hard as I’m choking everyone else,” Davis said.
There aren’t many times throughout the day when training together isn’t an option for Meier and Davis.
“At home, we try to separate ourselves from the gym, but if there’s something we need to do we can jump right in and train together,” Meier said. “It’s a wonderful thing.”