‘TUF 13’ Finale Prelims: Stephens Outpoints, Dominates Downes

By Brian Knapp Jun 4, 2011
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Stephens dominated Downes.
Jeremy Stephens had too much power, too much experience and too much aggression for Daniel Downes, as he defeated the Duke Roufus protégé in a one-sided unanimous decision at “The Ultimate Fighter 13” Finale on Saturday at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.

Stephens (20-6, 7-5 UFC) swept the scorecards in the preliminary lightweight matchup, earning a pair of 10-8 rounds from the judges: 30-27, 30-26 and 30-26. The 25-year-old Des Moines, Iowa, native has won four of his last five fights.

A three-time “Knockout of the Night” winner, Stephens drilled Downes with repeated low kicks, overhand rights, uppercuts to the body and timely takedowns. He drew blood in the third round, carried Downes (8-2, 0-1 UFC) across the cage en route to a takedown and thwarted the once-beaten WEC veteran at every turn. Stephens nearly finished it in the waning moments, as he locked in a rear-naked choke on his bloodied foe. Only the horn saved Downes.

Roop Springs Upset, Stops Grispi

“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 6 semifinalist George Roop sprang an upset on Josh Grispi, as he stopped the talented WEC import on third-round punches in a preliminary featherweight matchup. The end came 3:14 into round three.

Grispi was never much of a factor in the fight. A former Rage in the Cage champion who now trains under Shawn Tompkins, Roop (12-7-1, 2-3 UFC) battered the aggressive 22-year-old Plympton, Mass., native with elbows to the head and punches and knees to the body. He answered takedowns by quickly rising to his feet and unleashing his strikes.

By the time round three rolled around, Grispi was so exhausted by the punishment he had absorbed that referee Herb Dean had to warn him to keep his mouth guard where it belonged. A right hand to the gut put down Grispi (14-3, 0-2 UFC) and sent Dean in motion for the stoppage. Grispi entered the match with 10 wins in his last 11 outings.

“I'm always going to be the underdog,” Roop said. “I always have been.”

Bailey Wrestles McGillivray to Decision

Repeated takedowns and positional dominance carried Strikeforce veteran Shamar Bailey to a unanimous decision over “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 13 teammate Ryan McGillivray in a 170-pound undercard bout. Bailey swept the scorecards by matching 30-27 counts and halted a two-fight losing streak in doing so.

An Indianapolis-based Integrated Fighting Academy representative, Bailey (12-3, 1-0 UFC) set the stage for victory in the first round, as he secured three takedowns and also attacked with effect on the feet, utilizing a stout left hand and work from the muay Thai plum. His handiwork left McGillivray with swelling near his left eye.

Rounds two and three took on a similar feel, and even though Bailey’s pace slowed, his wrestling was strong enough to allow him to execute takedowns and dictate where the fight took place. Unable to stay upright, McGillivray (11-5-1, 0-1 UFC) let his frustrations spill forth as his Octagon debut came to a close in disappointing fashion.

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Harvison edged Edwards.
Harvison Takes Split Nod, Tops Edwards

“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 13 quarterfinalist Clay Harvison took a split decision from previously unbeaten castmate Justin Edwards in a preliminary welterweight tilt. All three cage-side judges scored it 29-28, two of them for Harvison.

Edwards (6-1, 0-1 UFC) came out with strong intent, as he scored with multiple takedowns and effective strikes in the first round. Harvison recalibrated for round two, as he stonewalled Edwards’ efforts to get him to the ground and racked up points while the two remained upright.

The 30-year-old Georgian followed a similar recipe in the third, as he landed crisp combinations and turned away attempted takedowns. Harvison (7-1, 1-0 UFC) later delivered a trip takedown of his own, passing Edwards’ guard into side control. A Jorge Gurgel protégé, Edwards made a last-ditch play for the judges, as he struck for a late takedown and took his foe’s back. He lost position but trapped Harvison against the cage, firing away with punches to the bell.

Jorgensen Waylays ATT’s Stone

Former WEC bantamweight title contender Scott Jorgensen dazzled in his UFC debut, as he knocked out American Top Team’s Ken Stone with ground-and-pound 4:01 into their 135-pound undercard bout.

The two UFC rookies traded strikes from the start, until Jorgensen altered the landscape of the fight with a takedown. Stone (9-3, 0-1 UFC) remained aggressive and maneuvered for submissions from his back but left himself vulnerable to Jorgensen’s considerable speed and power. The Twisted Genetiks representative snapped Stone’s head to the side with a right hand from inside guard and polished off the Coconut Creek, Fla.,-based bantamweight with another. Follow-up blows landed on the unconscious Stone before referee Steve Mazzagatti could leap in to save him.

Jorgensen (12-4, 1-0 UFC) has rattled off six wins in his past seven outings.

Duran Choke Submits Rivera

A back-and-forth encounter ended with a decisive finish, as Reuben Duran submitted WEC import Francisco Rivera with a third-round rear-naked choke in a preliminary bantamweight matchup. Rivera asked out of the fight 1:57 into round three.

Duran (7-3-1, 0-1 UFC) weathered two attempted guillotine chokes from Rivera in the first round and found another gear in the second. The 27-year-old Ontario, Calif., native nearly mounted Rivera, took back control and searched for a choke in the closing seconds. It was a sign of what was to come.

A King of the Cage veteran, Duran followed a series of clean punches with a powerful takedown in the third round, as he landed in side mount and went to work. Threatened with a topside crucifix, Rivera (5-2, 0-1 UFC) instead surrendered his back. Not long after, the rear-naked choke and tapout followed. Duran has posted five wins in his last six appearances.

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