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Clay Collard defeats Jeremy Stephens by decision in Fight of the Year contender (Highlights)

In the main of 2022 PFL 1, Jeremy Stephens is set to make his promotional debut against Clay Collard.

Jeremy Stephens (28-19) is on a six-fight winless streak and coming off a 65-second submission loss to Mateusz Gamrot. That setback marked the last fight on his UFC deal and he then signed with PFL. On the losing skid, he suffered a TKO loss to Calvin Kattar, a decision loss to Yair Rodriguez, which took place after a No Contest due to an accidental eye poke. As well, he suffered a decision loss to Zabit Magomedsharipov and a TKO loss to Jose Aldo. His last win came in February 2018 when he knocked out Josh Emmett.

Clay Collard (20-9), meanwhile, has had success in PFL scoring wins over Anthony Pettis and Joilton Lutterbach by decision. However, he suffered a split decision loss to Raush Manfio in the semifinals. He also fought in the UFC from 2014 to 2015, going 1-3 including losing to Max Holloway.

Clay Collard, Jeremy Stephens
Image Credit: PFL

Round one starts and Collard lands a leg kick, a big right hand by Stephens followed by a leg kick. Both men are landing heavy shots and leg kicks to start as they now clinch. They separate and Stephens land a big shot that looks to have hurt Collard but ‘Cassius’ lands a big one himself. Collard lands a shot that has Stephens hurt as he is starting to find his range. Stephens lands a good hook but Collard eats it and lands a shot of his own and the two now have a clash of heads and time is called. Right out of the break the two get back to throwing heavy shots in the pocket and they both land. Flying knee from Collard but Stephens eats it. They continue trading shots, what a round!

Round two starts and the two get right back into it and Stephens lands a low blow. Stephens lands a good hook but Collard is going back to the body. A nice knee from Collard. Stephens lands a huge left hand and Collard is stunned but somehow is surviving. Cassius is once again finding his groove as they continue trading, Stephens rocked him again with an uppercut but he shoots for a takedown and gets it. ‘Lil Heathen’ gets back to his feet and the two are clinched. Once they separate it is much of the same as the two are just throwing down and both landing solid shots. The round ends with Collard dumping Stephens to the ground.

The third and final round begins with both men meeting in the middle and exchanging leg kicks. Collard lands a spinning kick to the body and fires back. Both men have slowed down considerably in this final round. Collard lands a good combination of to the body and then to the head that got Stephens’ attention. Stephens fires back with a massive right hand. Both men are landing solid shots in the pocket. A nice hook from Collard as this third round has been a war like the first to have been. Stephens goes in for a takedown but Collard stuffs it. The fight ends with Collard trying for a spinning wheel kick and slips and the two clinch but quickly break and exchange strikes. WHAT A FIGHT!

https://twitter.com/PFLMMA/status/1516974232986550274

Official result: Clay Collard defeats Jeremy Stephens by unanimous decision (30-27 x3).

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This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM