Aside from having to survive a late submission attempt, Jeremy Stephens was very much in control in his fight with Darren Elkins, doing well to stuff his takedown attempts and give him a tough time with his striking en-route to a unanimous decision victory.
The two men feel out with the jab then Stephens wings out a punch that misses. A low kick lands for Stephens.
Body kick for Stephens as Elkins comes forward. Elkins tries to duck down for a takedown, but doesn’t get close to landing it.
Stephens keeping elkins at bay so far and an uppercut continues that theme. Another huge uppercut for Stephens that misses.
Elkins clearly eager to get a takedown, but it ends up being Stephens who gets him down and lands an elbow. Stephens opts not to mess with Elkins to much on the mat, getting himself back up to his feet.
Elkins finally gets the fight where he’s more comfortable, pressing Stephens up against the cage. He’s looking for that takedown again, but Stephens is able to break away and return to the center of the Octagon.
In close Stephens lands a good uppercut. Leg kick lands now as he continues to get the better of the striking exchanges.
Wild hooks wing Elkins way as Stephens gets really loose. Solid body kick lands for Stephens. Elkins tries to drive him back with rapid-fire jabs and that’s the last action of the round.
Big exchange of punches between the two men to start the second round and it’s Stephens who lands harder and that causes Elkins to hit reverse gear.
Elkins looked a little unsteady for a brief moment, but then gets right back into the action. Another big right scores for Stephens. Elkins trying to press forward with the jab, but he’s not throwing it with authority and Stephens punches are coming back at him with much more on them.
Elkins uses the jab to step up a takedown, but gets stuck up against the cage and can’t get stephens down, so they seperate.
Half way through the round and Stephens continues to land with little flurries of punches. A kick lands too that knocks Elkins off-balance a little.
Elkins wings in a big overhand that lands with a slap rather than a thump. Kick from Stephens and Elkins responds with one of his own.
Uppercut from Stephens and another soon after. Body kick from Elkins lands and Stephens gives him one back.
Very big uppercut scores for Stephens, but Elkins eats it. A few seconds before the bell Stephens connects with a good punch that sends his opponent reeling backwards, but he catches his balance and stays upright.
Stephens starts the round with a nice left hook. Elkins attempts a body kick, but Stephens uses it to earn a takedown.
Elkins attempts a guillotine choke, but he doesn’t quite have it and Stephens walks him towards the cage. Elkins goes for the choke again and it’s more dangerous this time, but Stephens gets out and wisely opts to go back to his feet.
Body kick for Stephens now and this time it’s Elkins trying to use it to go for the takedown, but he doesn’t get it.
Another big uppercut lands for Stephens with a left hook behind it. Kick to the leg follows. Elkins goes for the push kick.
There’s a lull and then Stephens tries a high kick, but it misses and he loses his balance, but recovers quickly.
Another high kick attempt for Stephens with grazing contact. Winging overhand for Elkins doesn’t land effectively.
Nice right hook for Stephens and a leg kick afterwards. Stephens misjudges his range and misses a couple of punches and Elkins captalizes by clipping him with a punch. Stephens seems a little hurt by that and suddenly it’s Elkins who’s taking the fight to Stephens with a series of punches against the cage.
Suddenly Elkins drops down looking for a choke. There’s only seconds left in the fight, but Elkins going all out for a submission finish. He looks to have the choke locked up now with Stephens on his back and Elkins on top, but he’s beaten by the bell.
So, Elkins found some success in the closing stages of the fight, but it was all Stephens before that and he claims the unanimous decision victory (29-28, 30-27 x2).