LAS VEGAS, June 4 - There was little drama when the scores were read after the lightweight bout between Jeremy Stephens and Danny Downes at The Palms Saturday night. But during the Ultimate Fighter 13 finale card, there was plenty as Downes may have lost the three round unanimous decision, but he gained plenty of fans for a courageous performance in defeat that saw him survive a well-rounded attack from the Iowa native that included plenty of thudding punches and a tight kimura attempt. See Stephens post-fight interview
“That kid is tough,” said Stephens, who took the bout via scores of 30-26 twice and 30-27. See Downes post-fight interview
Stephens was patient, yet punishing in the opening round, picking his shots and then delivering them with bad intent. Downes hung tough, but his return fire was having little effect on the “Lil’ Heathen.”
Downes (8-2) got a guillotine choke on Stephens in the first minute of round two, but Stephens powered loose and used ground strikes to set up a painful kimura attempt. Downes refused to tap, and after a few tense moments, he got loose, only to take a forearm flush to the face for his trouble. Seconds later, Downes rose to his feet, After a brief break for Stephens to recover from an inadvertent low kick, the two traded briefly before a Stephens takedown in the final 30 seconds.
A nasty cut opened over Downes’ left eye in the third round, and a slam by Stephens (20-6) in the second minute drew a roar from the crowd. Once standing, Stephens continued to land hard shots on Downes, who refused to go away. Stephens made a last-ditch effort for a finish on the ground with a rear naked choke, but time ran out on him.
ROOP vs. GRISPI
Josh Grispi dominated his opposition in the WEC, but he’s found translating those performances to the UFC, as he lost his second consecutive Octagon bout, getting halted by George Roop in the third round, marking one of Roop’s most impressive victories to date. See post-fight interview
Grispi, who was coming off a decision loss to Dustin Poirier in January, got an early takedown and kept the bout on the mat for much of the round, but the busy Roop eventually fought his way free, and in the final minute, he came back and got the upper hand on the mat himself, finishing the round strong.
Roop (12-8-1) dropped Grispi in the opening seconds of round two and pushed the New Englander to the fence, where he continued the punishing ground assault he started in the previous stanza.
In the third, Grispi (14-3) moved forward and tried to regain the lead, but after a takedown, Roop rose and began unleashing a flurry of punches and kicks. A right to the body soon dropped Grispi, and as soon as he hit the deck, referee Herb Dean stopped the bout. The time of the stoppage was 3:14.
BAILEY vs. McGILLIVRAY
Shamar Bailey shut out his TUF 13 castmate Ryan McGillivray, taking all three rounds of their welterweight bout. Scores were 30-27 across the board. See post-fight interview
Bailey impressed from the opening bell, with his crisp standup and takedowns keeping McGillivray unable to mount any offensive response. McGillivray still had problems figuring Bailey out in the second frame, but he came out firing as round three opened in a quest to turn the fight around. The veteran Bailey wouldn’t get rattled though, and whenever the bout strayed to the mat, he continued to dominate, locking up the three round win.
Bailey ups his record to 12-3 with the win; McGillivray falls to 11-5-1.
HARVISON vs. EDWARDS
TUF 13 competitors Clay Harvison and Justin Edwards gave a great effort in their bout, with Harvison eking out a three round split decision victory. See post-fight interview
Scores were 29-28 twice and 28-29 for Harvison, who improves to 9-4; Edwards falls to 7-1.
Edwards dominated for most of the fast-paced opening round, but Harvison, never backing down, had a nice late surge that reminded his castmate that he was still around.
Harvison made his move in the second, and as the pace dipped, he took over with some solid striking and takedown defense, and as round three opened, he rocked Edwards and began teeing off with strikes. Edwards fired back, but he was getting the worst of the exchanges, and things didn’t improve when Harvison took him to the mat. After grabbing a breather between elbows and forearms, Edwards got to his feet and scored a takedown of his own that got him back in the scoring column before the two stood. Now both fighters were showing the wear of the battle, and Edwards got two more takedowns in the final minute of the entertaining welterweight scrap.
JORGENSEN vs. STONE
Former WEC bantamweight standout Scott Jorgensen made his long-awaited UFC debut and he didn’t disappoint, knocking out Ken Stone in the first round. See post-fight interview
Stone (9-3) was sharp in the early going, keeping Jorgensen (12-4) off-balance with solid striking. But once the WEC title challenger got the takedown, he turned things up, and after drilling his foe with a right hand, Stone went out, with referee Steve Mazzagatti finally stopping the bout after a couple unnecessary shots at 4:01 of the opening round.
It was Jorgensen’s first bout since a December 2010 loss to UFC bantamweight boss Dominick Cruz.
DURAN vs. RIVERA
Reuben Duran won a battle of bantamweight prospects with Francisco Rivera, heating up as the fight went on before he finished matters with a third round submission. See post-fight interview
Rivera and Duran traded guillotine choke attempts in the opening round, and when they weren’t trying to submit each other, they delivered some compelling action at close range along the fence, with each having their moments. Some late ground and pound from Rivera may have allowed him to steal the round though.
The second round was equally compelling, with Duran and Rivera slugging it out early before Duran survived another guillotine choke attempt and went on to control the rest of the period, running out of time when he took his foe’s back in the closing seconds.
With the fight still up for grabs, Duran snatched it away in the third, putting Rivera down a minute in, taking his back and submitting his with a rear naked choke at the 1:57 mark.
With the win, Duran improves to 8-3-1; Rivera falls to 5-2.
TUF 13 Finale Prelim Results - Stephens Beats but Can’t Break Gutsy Downes
Click below for prelim results from the TUF 13 Finale card in Las Vegas...