Round 1: O’Neil opens light on his feet as he stalks Cope. Straight right from O’Neil snaps the head of Cope back and he rushes in to secure a clinch against the cage. Now from the clinch O’Neil lands disruptive shots to the body and legs of Cope. The fighters separate and Cope lands a stinging leg kick, and O’Neil counters with a leg kick of his own. O’Neil just misses a looping overhand left/right combo. More leg kicks exchanged as Cope peppers a jab to try and keep O’Neil at bay, but he keeps pressuring. O’Neil with a crushing left hook that drills Cope on the chin. What a shot! Both fighters exchange low kicks again and Cope snaps a high kick that barely misses. Side kick from Cope ends round 1 very close round. MMAWeekly scores round one 10-9 for O’Neil.
Round 2: O’Neil opens with a low kick and Cope tries to fire back with a counter right over the top, but to no avail. Cope pressuring in a bit but O’Neil backs him off with some well placed jabs. Cope snaps off consecutive leg kicks to keep O’Neil at bay. Cope pressures O’Neil back into the cage and secures a clinch. O’Neil turns into Cope and is now landing knees to the body from the clinch. They separate and are now back to he center of the cage. Cope with a counter right that lands. Cope fires a counter left this time and it lands as well. Low kick from Cope keeps the rhythm going. Spinning wheel kick from Cope just misses O’Neil’s face. Left hook from Cope lands effectively. Cope is winning the round but he seems to be having just a bit of trouble finding his range at this point. A nice 3-punch combo from Cope connects on the back end of it. Body shot by Cope, followed by a looping overhand left that clips O’Neil. MMAWeekly scores round two 10-9 for Cope.
Round 3: Cope with a right hook to the body, followed by a left hook that snaps O’Neil’s head back with authority. Cope doing a good job of using effective lateral movement as he whips combos at will. Combo from Cope that lands, body, body, head. Spinning back kick from Cope lands on O’Neil’s forearm, more than the body. Left hook from Cope rocks O’Neil and the crowd gives a fitting reaction. O’Neil bleeding a bit now from the mouth. Cope looking really calm and collected in the cage as the round closes out. A head kick from Cope barely misses, and the horn sounds on the end of round 3. MMAWeekly scores round three 10-9 and the fight 29-28 for Cope.