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PHOENIX – Ben Saunders’ hard body kicks and solid clinch work kept the famously tough Court McGee at bay over two rounds.

So when McGee (18-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC) waged a third-round comeback, Saunders (21-7 MMA, 8-4 UFC) had points to spare on judges scorecards and took home a unanimous decision.

The welterweight bout was part of the main card of today’s UFC Fight Night 103 event at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix. It aired on FS1 following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

The final tallies were all 29-28 for Saunders, who looked a lot worse for the wear after suffering the brunt of McGee’s ground and pound in the final frame.

The last-ditch effort made things interesting for Saunders, who expertly used his length to frustrate McGee’s attempts to make the fight dirty. When the winner of “The Ultimate Fighter 11” closed the distance, he took dozens of kicks to the bread basket, and when he got into clinch, he took knees that made him think twice about keeping the position.

McGee fought for every strike he landed, and he often took two in return. So it wasn’t a surprise when he tried to take the fight to the ground. He struggled to do so in the second frame, but after wobbling Saunders with a right hand, the action came easier. Elbows and punches left Saunders to tie up with the action with mission control and ride out the fight. But in the end, it wasn’t enough to sway judges.

“TUF 6” vet Saunders, now in his third stint with the promotion, has won two straight after a submission win on the regional circuit. McGee continues to look for momentum, having alternated between wins and losses in his past six outings.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 103 results include:

For complete coverage UFC Fight Night 103, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s John Morgan contributed to this report on site in Phoenix.)

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