Tarec Saffiedine and Tyler Stinson ended their bout to kick off the televised main card bloodied and battered, but in the end it would be Saffiedine that would emerge with the split decision victory after fifteen minutes of action.
Stinson was able to establish his kicks early and use his length effectively, but Saffiedine was able to land with strikes of his own before shooting in and taking his opponent to the canvas midway through the first. Stinson stayed active from his back looking for an armbar, but Saffiedine postured out of trouble, avoiding the submission attempt.
After a scramble, Stinson made his way to his feet and landed a solid elbow on the break that sent Saffiedine retreating across the cage as blood poured out of his face. Stinson pounced sensing that Saffiedine was hurt, but was unable to mount enough offense to end the fight as time ran out on the first round.
Stinson got the better of Saffiedine on the feet to start the second, but was unable to get off of his back the rest of the round after a takedown from Saffiedine. Saffiedine dominated the action on the ground, maintaining top control while landing strikes from the top.
The third round saw yet another takedown and top control from Saffiedine as Stinson was simply unable to get back to his feet. A referee stand up gave him one last shot to mount some offense, but it was too little too late as time ran out on the bout after several exciting exchanges.
With scores of 28-29, 30-27, and 29-28, Saffiedine was awarded the split decision victory, improving to 12-3 overall and 5-1 under the Strikeforce banner.