Unfortunately the ride for Maryland's current favorite son in mixed martial arts has come to an end.
Much has been made in the local media about Zach Davis from Evolve Academy's ascent on this season of "The Ultimate Fighter", where he scored a first-round submission victory over Chuck O' Neil in the preliminary round. Zach has made the rounds on local TV and newspapers since it was announced he would be part of the show, including on local TV stations like Comcast SportsNet, WUSA-9 and newspapers like The Washington Post.
Unfortunately for Zach, O' Neil was given a chance at redemption when the two met in a rematch in the quarterfinal round. Zach didn't have a chance to apply the same magic he did in the preliminary round, as a seemingly reinvigorated O' Neil was tenacious and set the tone from the beginning, not giving Zach time to breathe as he secured a unanimous decision victory.
News of Zach's defeat spread locally and he was understandably upset after his loss, but that shouldn't diminish the significance of what Zach accomplished. It didn't seem that he was pegged as one of the early favorites, while some who were found themselves on the losing end early. For Zach to overcome a debilitating eye injury to boot only magnifies the strides he's made in his MMA career.
Even when fighters lose prior to the final rounds on "The Ultimate Fighter", the UFC will still occasionally give those fighters an opportunity and I hope Zach gets his. He's shown the kind of guts and determination to work his ass off that guys like Dana White love to see.