Welcome, fight fans, to the UFC 160. We’ll be here live all night from the first bell to the final punch. You can follow all our coverage live, beginning right here with the Facebook prelim fights.
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Jeremy Stephens vs. Estevan Payan
Round 1: Both guys are aggressive early as Payan is more active but Stephens is the aggressor. Low leg kick and we got our first leg kick landing where it shouldn’t of the night 30 seconds in. Stephens goes for a double against the leg and is being the clear aggressor here; Payan is looking to counter and a big right wobbles Stephens.Stephens gets a double and Payan grabs a guillotine, Stephens separates and we’re into full guard. Payan is looking to roll for an armbar off his back with the way he’s posting and Stephens is moving accordingly on top to counter. Stephens stands and eats an up kick, dives back into Payan’s guard and he nearly completes a triangle on him. Transition to an armbar and Stephens steps out, back to our feet and Stephens pushes him against the cage. Payan with a guillotine and he’s busted up, loses it and Stephens takes him down. Payan back up and eats some shots for his efforts. Both guys are content to trade leg kicks right now; Stephens with a big right and Payan is wobbly for a moment. Payan is throwing more wildly as the round ends; he’s trying to find his range and can’t. Stephens is doing a good job with his footwork. Round ends in a flurry as Stephens lands a big right followed by a flying knee. Stephens 10-9
Round 2: Stephens opens with a big right; Payan is more active but Stephens is landing more and better right now. Stephens is looking for the combination but Payan is moving enough away whenever he feels it. Power single from Stephens and Payan has his back against the cage. He wall walks up and Stephens is holding onto the single, eventually leg dragging him down and into full guard. Payan is bleeding a lot right now; Stephens has a lot on him. Stephens is looking to throw elbows from full guard as Payan is having problems seeing. He rolls for an armbar Stephens sees easy, back in full guard. Stephens postures out and dives into side control. Payan rolls to his stomach and Payan gives up his back; face crank doesn’t work as Payan is bleeding substantially now. Stephens has both hooks, working for the rear naked choke, as we’re playing hand fighting now. Stephens is going for the face crank some more and Payan is using good wrist control. Scramble late and Payan escapes late. Stephens 10-9, 20-18
Round 3: Some light striking to start as Payan is fighting with more desperation now. Stephens with a beautiful head kick 50 seconds in; his striking looks really on tonight. His movement overall is very smooth. Stephens grabs a takedown, takes back and drags Payan to the ground with back control. Payan is trying to get up and Stephens is doing a good job keeping him down with strikes. Payan back to his feet and facing Stephens as the pace has slowed considerably this round. Stephens is clinging to him, trying to drag him to the ground, as we play the cage game for a while. Payan is just gushing blood at this point as Stephens doubles him down to the mat one more time. BIg elbows from Stephens as he’s looking to grab mount. Fight ends as Stephens grind him down. 10-9 Stephens, 30-27 Stephens
Official decision: 30-26, 30-26, 30-27 Stephens
Brian Bowles vs. George Roop
Round 1: Roop is more aggressive early, using his length to keep Bowles at bay. Good front kick early, as well, from the 6’1 bantamweight. Bowles is more content to work the body now when he wades in. Roop is throwing more but Bowles’ defense is good. Couple of nice rights from Bowles and Roop is wobbled. Bowles is on the aggressive path for moment but Roop recovers. Roop is doing a nice job of keeping Bowles at bay with his kicking game; Bowles is hesitant to wade as Bowles is throwing high kicks and Bowles is coming in to counter. Bowles is looking to work the body with his hands in response to Roop’s leg kicks going up high. Bowles with some nice shots and Roop is hurt; Bowles dives on him and grabs a guillotine, pulling guard. Roop looks to roll out of it and rolls Bowles into mounting him. He gets out but he’s still in Bowles’ mount as he’s looking to posture up to land something. Roop is doing a good job of keeping him down, though. Bowles 10-9
Round 2: Roop comes out more aggressive as Bowles is looking to counter, again. Roop is using his length a little better, landing a nice front kick and a nice jab. Bowles is slowing down and Roop is keeping him away and lands a big jab, swarming him. Big shots and Roop swarms him, landing some big shots. Herb Dean stops it at 1:43 of the second, Roop via TKO
Stephen Thompson vs. Nah-Shon Burrell
Round 1: Thompson comes out in the horse stance and lands a couple side-kicks and then promptly gets clipped by Burrell, who charges him into the cage. Thompson’s looking for the takedown but Burrell is doing a good job keeping him from hitting that level change. Burrell gets out and we’re back to the middle. Thompson with a beautiful kick and Burrell charges in, only to get taken down. Burrell back up quickly, though, and up against the cage some more. Both guys are landing knees as we work the clinch game. Thompson back out and some slight brawling until Burrell gets him back against the cage again. Thompson works his way off and we’re in the clinch, the two trading knees. Thompson backs out and we’re back to the middle. Thompson is landing some big body shots with his kicks and Burrell goes for a lateral drop and ends up landing with Thompson in back mount. He’s up quickly, and out, though. Back to the cage and Burrell uncorks some beautiful kicks that don’t land to end the round. 10-9 Thompson
Round 2: Thompson lands a nice front kick to the body to early and then lands some big shots that Burrell wades through … Burrell closes the distance and tries to work against the cage. Thompson gets away quickly and Thompson is back out. He’s looking to counter and work at distance, Burrell is looking to press him against the cage. Thompson is landing in volume when he gets the distance but Burrell isn’t letting him stay there for long. Burrell is just going for the clinch and working that off the cage; Burrell wants this close but Thompson isn’t letting him land anything when he gets close to him. Thompson goes for a double on a nice level change but can’t finish it; Burrell is muscling his way out of danger but can’t do anything more. Thompson gets away and is landing some nice kicks; Burrell is closing the distance, though, and preventing Thompson from landing in volume. Spinning wheel kick doesn’t connect but is beautifully thrown. Burrell is closing the distance well but can’t land anything of note. Thompson 10-9, 20-18
Round 3: Burrell comes out charging again as Thompson is looking for the counter; more clinch work, though, and we’re back against the cage quickly. Thompson gets away and now we’re starting to throw down a bit more. Burrell wants to get close and Thompson is looking to keep him at distance, look for the counter. Burell gets close again and we’re back to the clinch against the cage. Burrell with some urgency and Thompson lands some big shots, including a head kick. Burrell is tough, I’ll give him that, as he knows he’s down on the cards right now. He’s landing some big shots as well and Thompson with a nice double leg. Thompson gets him down but Burrell is up right away; some clinch work and Burell backs off. Thompson is a bit gassed right now as he’s obviously breathing hard. He goes for another double and Burrell just pushes him away. Burrell goes for a flying knee and Thompson grabs back control off it, both standing against the cage. Some knees out of the clinch from both men end the round. 10-9 Thompson, 30-27 Thompson
Official Decision: 29-28×2, 30-27 Thompson by Unanimous Decision