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WEC 53: Daniel Downes (154.5) vs. Tie Quan Zhang (155.5)

After a fantastic undercard, we start the main card. Downes refuses to touch gloves. Zhang closes the distance and throws a hook combination against the cage. They clinch and scramble to floor. Zhang executes a perfect hip toss as Downes falls to the floor. Zhang lands in on top and rotates to the back. He tries to lock in a choke and he may have it. Downes fights it off. Zhang tries again, but Downes against resists.

"He's just a boy!" echoes from the crowd. Downes sweeps into a beautiful reversal, ending up on top in Zhang's guard. Downes lets Zhang stand. Zhang throwing hands. Downes get a takedown and takes it back to the floor. Zhang shoots his hips and grabs an arm. The arm bar is close but Downes fights it off. The round ends with Downes in a precarious position. SB Nation Arizona scores the round 10-9 for Zhang.

Round two starts. Zhang stands flatfooted as Downes tests the distance. The two clinch against the cage. Zhang is trying to secure a leg to get the takedown. He rotates his hips and gets Downes down. Daniel stands right back up. Zhang sits holding guard on the floor. He looks tired. Downes throws a punch and rejoins Zhang on the ground. They scramble and Downs takes Zhang's back. Downes throws a few hammerfists to Zhang's face.

Daniel is looking for the choke. Zhang rotates and Downes ends up on top in half guard. Downes lands an elbow. Zhang is exhausted. Downes lands a few more shots before standing up. Zhang refuses to get up. Downes jumps back on Zhang who tries crawls away. Downes lands a few knees to the ribs on Zhang. Downes rotates back into guard and delivers a few sharp elbows to Zhang's face. Blood is pour down the face of the ‘Mongolian Wolf'. The round ends. SB Nation Arizona scores the round 10-9 for Downes.

The third round begins and Downes instantly tags Zhang, who stays on the ground. A scramble ensues and Downes ends up on top of Zhang against the cage, landing shots to the face. Zhang grabs Downes' arms and tries to control the blows. Zhang throws a few upkicks but Downes retaliates with another big shot.

Halfway through the third round and Downes is dominating. Danny takes Zhang's back. He is throwing punches, trying to flatten the fighter from China. Zhang's face is in bad shape. Downes wraps an arm around Zhang's neck and pulls into half guard. He briefly gets a mount before Zhang turns and gives up his back. Downes stands up and throws shots as the round comes to a close. SB Nation Arizona scores the round 10-9 for Downes.

Official judges score the bout 29-28, 30-27, 29-28, and award the unanimous decision to Danny Downes.

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