An accomplished striker, Saffiedine has gone toe-to-toe with most past opponents and in the opening moments of his fight with Stinson it looked like much of the same strategy.
Saffiedine fired off good inside leg kicks and put together solid combinations to keep Stinson playing defense in the early going. That changed however when the fighters separated from the clinch against the cage as Stinson cracked Saffiedine with a huge elbow that rattled the fighter from Belgium.
It was all about survival for Saffiedine at that point, who did manage a takedown, but almost got caught in an armbar for his trouble. He was able to stand back up and avoid damage until the round ended.
In between rounds, Saffiedine’s coaches decided to switch up his attack and he opted for the takedown route instead. Once he put Stinson on his back, Saffiedine was all about control and landing elbows.
“Tyler is a really tough opponent, he cut me the first round so I thought I’m going to take him down the second and third rounds,” Saffiedine said after the fight.
Stinson was unable to get back up from the bottom, and he was the recipient of a nasty barrage of elbows that opened up some cuts on his head.
The fighters were stood up late in the fight and Stinson came out firing looking for the strike to put Saffiedine away. Try as he did, Stinson just couldn’t land the right punch or kick as Saffiedine stayed elusive until the final horn sounded.
The judges ended up with a split decision, but two gave the fight and the win to Tarec Saffiedine, who now hopes to earn a shot at the Strikeforce welterweight title.
“It wasn’t the best performance tonight, but I got the job done. I’m pretty happy,” Saffiedine stated.
With the win, Saffiedine headed to the back to watch the next fight between Tyron Woodley and Jordan Mein with hopes that if Woodley is successful he could possibly face him later this year with the Strikeforce welterweight belt on the line.