Marcus Davis dominated two rounds and two minutes of his UFC 125 bout against Jeremy Stephens, but Stephens landed the one big punch that finished Davis in the third.
Davis came out circling and jabbing for the first minute. Then a seemingly frustrated Jeremy Stephens shot in and forced a clinch. From there Davis tripped him and took him down. Davis spent a while in Stephens' half guard, working to maintain position. Stephens got an underhook on the same side as his guard leg and used it to stand back up. Back on the feet Stephens landed a leg kick that Davis answered with a nice combination. Then Davis tagged Stephens with a left hookd that rocked him. Davis then inexplicably clinched up and Stephens recovered and survived the round.
Stephens landed a hard leg kick to open the second as Davis continued to use better footwork to control the distance. Stephens landed a counter punch then another leg kick. They traded inside. Then Davis landed a combination that Stephens answered with a switch kick. More clinching. Davis sought his range then fired a spinning back fist. More jabs from Davis and Stephens shot in. Davis defended the take down but Stephens fought hard for a high single that failed. Davis then went for a trip that gave Stephens a kimura opportunity. Davis smoothly moved to side control and Stephens hung on to the hopeless shoulder lock. Then Stephens got half guard and it was a whole new game. Stephens then moved to full guard while holding on to the double wrist lock. Davis then escaped the arm lock only for Stephens to immediately attack his neck. Davis escaped and Stephens landed elbows from the bottom.
The third round was slow with more good foot work from Davis. But then he ducked into a winging right hand from Stephens that dropped him. Stephens followed up with a hard forearm shiv to the prone Davis before the ref could stop the fight.
The 38 year old Davis was once considered a contender in the UFC's welterweight division. But after going 2-3 at 170lbs since 2009 he's elected to cut down to 155lbs and try his luck. He was most recently battered and choked out by Nate Diaz at UFC 118. He did KO Jonathan Goulet at UFC 113.
Stephens is a young brawler known for his ferocity and raw power. He most recently took a frustrating decision loss to Melvin Guillard at UFC 119. Prior to that he edged out Sam Stout and finished Justin Buchholz.
This won't mean good things for the aging Davis' career. Stephens gets another chance to get into contention in the UFC lightweight division.