Round 1 - Referee Mario Yamasaki in charge of the evening's final preliminary card matchup. Pawing jabs early as the two set range. Tavares pushes into an early clinch and nails a slick outside trip. Stout quickly works to his butt and puts his back ti the cage. Tavares keeps the body wrapped to prevent the escape and nearly takes the back. Instead, Stout readjusts and scrambles up to his feet. Stout catches a kick and throws Tavares off-balance but doesn't charge. Tavares shoots in again and lands another trip. Stout again works to the cage and to his feet. Tavares elevates him and slams Stout back to the floor. Halfway into the round. Stout works to his feet again, and Tavares latches onto a guillotine choke and rolls to top position. Crowd comes alive, but Stout pulls free. Another scramble sees Stout escape a leglock and move back to the feet. He looks tentative once there, conscious of the takedown. Crowd chant's Tavares' name, and the two trade punches. Tavares lands the best punch with a powerful left. Stout breathing deep. Tavares tries another takedown, but aborts and lands a nice left up top Ound ends, and MMAjunkie.com sees it for Tavares, 10-9.
Round 2 - Stout comes out firing in the second. Tavares ready to return fire, but he eats two crisp punches early. Stout not reaching, and he defends a takedown attempt from Tavares. Good start for Stout. Tavares does work in a clean right hand. Stout holding the center and throwing in punches. He's not kicking at all, and he defends another takedown. Two minutes in. Tavares lands another big right. A second follows, along with a jab. Takedown attempt from Tavares, but it's not there. Stout looked sharp early, but Tavares' power caught his attention. Tavares misses over the top with a kick. Another right hand from Tavares. Stout has blood trickling down his neck and onto his chest. Crowd comes very much alive for the final minute. Tavares now starting to press on the feet. Stout kicks to the body. Punches traded in the pocket. Round ends, and it's a close one. Stout did a lot of good work, but Tavares was the one landing the power shots. Add in the blood and repeated takedown attempts, and MMAjunkie.com going to lean toward Tavares, 10-9.
Round 3 - Fight may hang in the balance here. Stout again comes out lively. Still, Tavares is not afraid to trade. Stout kicks to the cup, and he immediately apologizes for the infraction. Tavares is in real pain and stomps a few times to try and reset everything into its proper place. He'll start back after a brief delay. Quick pace to open. Stout lands with his hands while Tavares mixes in a few kicks. Tavares ducks for a takedown, but Stout defends and throws in a knee. Stout counters well to the body. Stout sprawls well on another deep takedown and punches to the head before pulling away. Halfway into the round. Best frame this far for Stout, who isn't eating those counter rights. Tavares does land to the leg. Stout holding the center and working the body well. Tavares nose also bleeding from Stout's jab. Tavares does sneak in that overhand right. Final minute. Tavares not landing with as much frequency as in previous rounds. Jabs land for Stout, who seems to have his timing down very well now. Power shots from Stout in the closing seconds. Tavares shoots in, but he misses. Good round for Stout, and MMAjunkie.com gives the round to him, 10-9. However, the fight is awarded to Tavares, 29-28. Second round will be key in result. Thiago Tavares def. Sam Stout via unanimous decision.