Charles Oliveira puts on ground clinic to earn decision win over Jeremy Stephens

BY Damon Martin • December 12, 2014

Charles Oliveira threw every submission in his arsenal at Jeremy Stephens, but ultimately had to settle for a unanimous decision win in the co-main event at The Ultimate Fighter Finale.

On Thursday, Oliveira hit the scale and weighed in at 146.5 pounds -- a pound and a half over the featherweight limit.  Oliveira has struggled several times to make the cut to featherweight, so he needed to make up for the error with a great performance on Friday night.

Oliveira didn't disappoint, because Stephens gave him everything he could handle.

The Brazilian submission specialist didn't waste any time getting the fight to the mat, where he started working for an armbar early in the first round.  Considering the fighters hadn't built up much of a sweat yet, this seemed like Oliveira's best chance for a finish, but Stephens found a way out.

The second round included a similar situation when Oliveira had Stephens locked up in an armbar and it looked like the fight was going to be over at any second, but the UFC veteran kept moving, squirming and eventually slipped free.  Stephens did the same again later in the round when he got out of a D'Arce choke as well.

Stephens had his best round in the third, when he started cracking Oliveira with big shots, but it was clear he was winded after 10 hard-fought minutes.  Oliveira eventually resorted to pulling guard at one point to slow things down as he ran out the time on the clock.

The judges all scored the fight in favor of Oliveira -- 30-27, 29-28, 29-28.

The win moves Oliveira to 3-0 in his last three fights and could potentially score him a top 10 fight depending on how the UFC reacts to his weight-cutting snafu. 

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