Round 1: They exchange leg kicks to start off the round. Stephens moving forward. He lands two inside leg kicks. One hit Payan’s groin accidentally. Payan is given time to recover and the fight is restarted. Stephens continues to land leg kicks. Stephens looks for a takedown, but Payan stuffs the attempt. They exchange shots to the body. Payan steps in with a right hand that staggers Stephens. Stephens changes levels and secures a takedown. Payan briefly looked to secure a guillotine choke but Stephens defends it. Stephens delivers a hard elbow. Payan lands an upkick. He goes for a triangle and Stephens spins out of it but Payan is back to his feet. Payan is cut. Stephens presses him against the cage working for a single leg takedown. Stephens gets the takedown. Payan works his way back to his feet and eats a shot in the process. Stephens continues to land inside leg kicks. Stephens lands a right hand that backs Payan up. Stephens lands a right hand at the bell. MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Stephens.
Round 2: Stephens opens the round with a big right hand. Payan delivers leg kicks. Stephens inches forward. Stephens changes levels and secures a double leg takedown. Payan uses the cage to stand. Payan lands elbows as Stephens holds on to a leg working for a takedown. Stephens gets the fight to the ground. He lands elbows from the top. Payan is bleeding from the forehead. Payan delivers an up kick. Stephens passes his guard into side control. Payan rolls and Stephens takes his back. Payan is bleeding pretty badly. They’re in a puddle of blood. The round ends. MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Stephens.
Round 3: They touch gloves to start the final round. Payan’s corner urges him to let his hands go. Payan delivers a kick to the body. Stephens unloads a high kick. They exchange jabs. Payan landing his jab. Stephens closes the distance and secures a takedown and works to take Payan’s back. He delivers a series of knees to the body before switching to right hands to the side of Payan’s head. Payan stands. Stephens stays on him working for a takedown. Payan turns him, but Stephens drives forward with a double leg takedown. Stephens lands short elbows and moves to half guard. Stephens smiles as the bell sounds. MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Stephens.
The judges score the fight for Stephens by unanimous decision. The scorecards read 30-26, 30-26, and 30-27.