LAS VEGAS – Jeremy Stephens made a successful debut at featherweight by dominating Estevan Payan from bell to bell.

Stephens not only earned a unanimous-decision win, but left the octagon canvas covered in blood after cutting Payan early with an elbow.

The featherweight bout opened Saturday’s UFC 160 event at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. It streamed on Facebook ahead of additional prelims on FX and prior to a pay-per-view main card.

After some heavy initial exchanges got him a stiff left hand to the head, Stephens, who’s spent the bulk of his career at lightweight, took Payan to the mat and opened a cut with an elbow. Payan attempted to retort with a pair of submission attempts as Stephens tried to stuff him to the mat, though he was unable to secure a finish.

Stephens switched back to striking and landed several right hands that stunned Payan late in the round.

Payan’s corner implored him to strike first leading into the second frame, but again, Stephens landed big with a right hand before taking the fight to the mat. The cut that opened in the first frame bled generously for Payan, and Stephens continued to do damage from top position.

In an attempt to free himself, Payan gave his opponent a prime opportunity to choke him out by exposing his back, but there was so much blood that “Lil Heathen” couldn’t secure any type of squeeze.

Stephens maintained control of striking exchanges in the third frame as Payan struggled to mount any sort of offense. Although he wasn’t able to finish, Stephens was in the driver’s seat until the final bell.

The judges’ final scores were 30-26, 30-26 and 30-27 in Stephens’ favor.

“(I’m) very happy with the win because it’s been a long time coming,” Stephens said. “I had to climb the ladder to get to this spot, and I prepared very hard to make the best of it. I knew I was going to be down at 145 pounds eventually, and even though I had a tough cut getting down, I felt great in there.”

Jeremy Stephens (21-9 MMA, 8-8 UFC) likely saved his octagon job after three straight losses at lightweight. His win percentage now stands at .500 inside the octagon. Payan (14-4 MMA, 0-1 UFC), a Strikeforce import, sees a seven-fight streak come to an end.

Up-to-the-minute UFC 160 results include:

  • Jeremy Stephens def. Estevan Payan via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)

For complete coverage of UFC 160, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site.

John Morgan and Matt Erickson contributed to this report on-site in Las Vegas.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Jeremy Stephens Calls Conor McGregor 'Ginger Crackhead' After UFC 205 Presser

  • 28 days ago

UFC featherweight contender Jeremy Stephens has taken a shot at champion Conor McGregor ahead of UFC 205 on November 12, saying he'll fight the Notorious any day and labeling him a “ginger crackhead. read news >>

Jeremy Stephens gives heated response to Conor McGregor's insult at UFC 205 press conference

  • 28 days ago

Jeremy Stephens wasn't happy with Conor McGregor's insult at the UFC 205 press conference, so he responds in the only way he knows how. read news >>

Watch Conor McGregor Burn Jeremy Stephens: 'Who the F*** is That Guy?' |

  • 28 days ago

Jeremy Stephens has had a long career in the UFC with some memorable fights. Memorable to you and us, that is, but apparently not to Conor McGregor. read news >>

Conor McGregor disses Jeremy Stephens then calls out Floyd Mayweather - 'TMZ Sports'

  • 28 days ago

Conor McGregor says he may have to drag Floyd Mayweather out of retirement again. read news >>

Jeremy Stephens: 'Leprechaun' Conor McGregor Wanted No Part of It (video) |

  • 26 days ago

Conor McGregor asked, 'who the f*** is that guy' after Jeremy Stephens said that he was McGregor's toughest match-up at the UFC 205 press conference. read news >>

UFC 205's Jeremy Stephens guarantees KO of Frankie Edgar, wants 'little leprechaun' Conor McGregor

  • 26 days ago

Jeremy Stephens answered just two questions at Tuesday’s UFC 205 news conference in New York City. However, with those two answers, he caught the attention of many that wouldn’t have noticed him othe read news >>

UFC 205’s Jeremy Stephens to internet trolls: You can find me at my gym all day

  • 21 days ago

Before UFC featherweight champ Conor McGregor made him the butt of a joke, Jeremy Stephens had his eye set on another troll. Or really, any troll.Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos read news >>

Dana White: Ronda Rousey will fight Cris Cyborg if she beats Amanda Nunes (Video)

  • 14 days ago

Should Ronda Rousey make a successful return to the octagon in December, then a much-anticipated fight with Cris Cyborg should be in the cardsUFC President Dana White went on Fox Sports 1 and The Her read news >>

For Jay Hieron, becoming a successful movie fighter meant forgetting how to fight

  • 9 days ago

With memorable appearances under the UFC, Strikeforce and Bellator banners, Jay Hieron made a name for himself in professional MMA. Now he’s making a name in Hollywood, but it’s been a learning proce read news >>

UFC superstar Conor McGregor answers questions about Call of Duty

  • 6 days ago

UFC superstar and current featherweight champion Conor McGregor is known for dominating in the Octagon. He ison the cover oftheEA Sports UFC 2 video game and will also appear inCall of Duty: Infinite read news >>