‘Danny Boy’ Reflects on Gritty Loss to Stephens at ‘TUF 13’ Finale

By Mike Whitman Jun 4, 2011
Danny Downes (file photo) caught his second career loss Saturday. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

Danny Downes tells it like it is.

“I feel like a bag of crap,” Downes said in a Saturday video interview on UFC.com.

The Roufusport lightweight fought his heart out Saturday night at “The Ultimate Fighter 13” Finale, but his efforts ultimately proved futile. “Danny Boy” was battered for three rounds by heavy-handed Jeremy Stephens, falling by unanimous decision to “Lil’ Heathen” inside the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.

Things went sour for Downes from the start, as Stephens took the fight to the floor and transitioned to side control. From there, Stephens locked up a kimura and began to crank on the 25-year-old’s shoulder. When Downes refused to submit, Stephens torqued the lock even further, forcing his foe’s arm behind his back at an unnatural angle.

Following the bout, Stephens claimed to have heard the joint pop. He wasn’t the only one.

“I heard it pop, too,” said a disappointed Downes. “It kind of sounded like if you crunched up some packing peanuts or something. I heard it and then I thought, ‘Well, if it’s already gone this far, it probably can’t get much worse. No sense in stopping.’”

Though Downes managed to escape the dangerous position and scramble to his feet, he would fare no better down the stretch. Stephens battered the WEC vet for the remainder of the bout, bloodying Downes and threatening with a rear-naked choke as the final horn sounded.

However, through all of the punishment, Downes refused to relent. Making reference to former middleweight boxing champion Jake LaMotta, Downes claims that his resiliency simply stemmed from his pride as a fighter.

“Of course you have that natural instinct of self-preservation, ‘Why don’t you just stop this? This is stupid,’” explained Downes, “but it’s [a matter] of pride. That’s all it was. I feel like going up to [Jeremy] like [Robert DeNiro in] ‘Raging Bull’ and saying, ‘You never got me down, Jeremy.’”

Though he sustained heavy damage in the contest, Downes is now fighting through the disappointment of his loss and hopes for another shot in the Octagon.

“Physically, I’ll be alright. My shoulder will heal, and I’m sure I’ll get my boyish good looks back. But, whenever you lose, it’s miserable,” said Downes. “You live a whole life out there. You [experience] fear, jubilation, anger, defeat. You live a whole life in those 15 minutes, and hopefully I’ll be back to live another one.”
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