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UFC TUF 20 Finale results recap: Jeremy Stephens vs Charles Oliveira fight review and analysis

Last night (Fri., Dec. 12, 2014), Jeremy Stephens and Charles Oliveira came to blows at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 20 Finale inside "The Pearl" in Las Vegas, Nevada. In a back-and-forth battle, Oliveira earned a unanimous decision. Find out how below!

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Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight veterans Jeremy Stephens and Charles Oliveira battled last night (Dec. 12, 2014) at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 20 Finale inside "The Pearl" in Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada.

After the first loss of his 145-pound career, Stephens was anxious to return to the win column. Throwing his usual heat, there was little doubt that "Lil Heathen" was looking for the knockout.

Meanwhile, Oliveira was looking for the first three-fight win streak of his UFC career. More than anything, the Brazilian fought for some consistency, as he attempted to finally get past the step up in competition.

For the first time, Oliveira stepped up and performed at that level.

Early on, Stephens landed a nasty leg kick, before Oliveira pulled guard. For about two minutes, Oliveira attacked with a deep armbar, which he seemed to have locked in. However, Stephens once again proved his toughness and slowly inched out of the hold.

Stephens landed some nice elbows from the top before the fight returned to standing. Both men traded fairly evenly until the bell, which ensured that the first round could go to either fighter.

Within the first minute of the second round, Oliveira completed a takedown and transitioned into back mount. He again went for an armbar, fully extending Stephens' arm. Stephens rolled out of the submission, but he was not able to control top position for long.

Oliveira stood back up and then attacked with his anaconda choke. Stephens again showed some solid defense, but he gave up top position. Oliveira then controlled Stephens from the top for a majority of the round.

In the third round, Stephens was less willing to grapple with Oliveira, disengaging whenever possible. On the feet, both men landed with authority, but Oliveira continually surrendered top position, which the judges really do not like.

Near the end of the round, Stephens started to land some strikes from the top, including a nice right hand. In a bizarre move, Oliveira pulled guard with 45 seconds left, which almost certainly gave Stephens the round. With that in mind, the first round likely decided the fight.

In the end, the judges awarded Oliveira the unanimous decision victory.

Oliveira's skills definitely improved from his last performance. His striking looked better than ever, his takedowns were effective against a solid wrestler, and Oliveira's Brazilian jiu-jitsu is still amazing. In short, this was an excellent show of development for the young fighter.

Even though Oliveira won the fight, he made some truly awful decisions. Oliveira repeatedly pulled guard when it was completely unnecessary, which almost certainly gave away the third round. This was especially strange since Oliveira was frequently winning the striking exchanges.

Then, he'd give away the momentum by pulling guard.

For Oliveira's next match up, I'd like to see the Brazilian finally scrap with Nik Lentz for a second time. Hopefully, "Do Bronx" can get his weight under control for that match.

Stephens looked fairly terrible in this bout. His submission defense and toughness were impressive, but the rest of his skills were quite lacking. In particular, Stephens' recent development of his kickboxing technique went out of the window, as he regressed to simply swinging for the fences.

Additionally, Stephens gassed about four minutes into the first round. For a true veteran who recently battled for 25 minutes, there's simply no excuse for that.

After Stephens recovers from this loss, a fan-friendly bout with Diego Brandao would make sense.

At The Ultimate Fighter 20 Finale, Charles Oliveira earned a unanimous decision over Jeremy Stephens. Can the Brazilian finally reach his potential?

For complete TUF 20 Finale "Namajunas vs Esparza" results and play-by-play click HERE.

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