Darren Stewart
The Dentist
Falls short in comeback attempt
Light HeavyweightUFC
November 30, 2018
Stewart lost to Edmen Shahbazyan via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 28-29) at The Ultimate Fighter 28 Finale in Las Vegas on Friday.
Stewart likely came into this fight expecting a striking battle but instead had to fend off takedown attempts and submissions for the better part of three rounds. "The Dentist" got his window in the third, as the referee implored his opponent to fight back while eating hard shots on the ground but the bout was lost for good when Stewart gave up a final takedown in the waning seconds of the frame. Stewart came into the organization as a power wrestler, and has vastly improved his kickboxing game, but he needs to work on his grappling defense to avoid losing fights like this in the future. He falls to 9-4 with one no-contest in professional MMA as a result of the loss.
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Stops Charles Byrd in the second round at UFC 228
Light HeavyweightUFC
September 8, 2018
Stewart defeated Charles Byrd via TKO (punches) at 2:17 of Round 2 at UFC 228 on Saturday in Dallas.
Stewart was really struggling in this fight. He could not really land, and he spent a lot of time stuck in the clinch. In the second round, he landed a short elbow in the clinch that hurt Byrd. He took advantage of the opening and continued to land shots. During the finishing flurry, he did a good job of being accurate and not running out of gas. This was an impressive performance, but his ability to avoid the clinch will certainly need to improve.
Will face Charles Byrd at UFC 228
Light HeavyweightUFC
July 21, 2018
Stewart will take on Charles Byrd in a middleweight matchup at UFC 228 on Sept. 8, MMAFighting.com reports.
Stewart finally got back into the win column in May, though a win over Eric Spicely is not necessarily something to write home about. That had likely been his last leg after a three-fight losing streak, and he'll again have to prove he belongs against Byrd, a product of Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series. Stewart is the younger fighter with slight height and reach advantages, though Byrd has been able to negate those in his other matchups by keeping the fight in close. Stewart will want to avoid this, because it will lead to Byrd executing his opportunistic submission game. In each of Stewart's last two losses, he has been defeated via choke -- one guillotine and one RNC.
Ends three fight skid with Round 2 TKO of Eric Spicely in England
Light HeavyweightUFC
May 27, 2018
Stewart defeated Eric Spicely via TKO (punches) at 1:47 of Round 2 at UFC Fight Night on Sunday in Liverpool.
Stewart finally picked up his first Octagon victory after dropping his three previous fights. He showed great head movement in the first round and proved to be a hard target for Spicely to hit. "The Dentist" also displayed good takedown defense when Spicely was deep into a single leg but was unable to complete it. In the second round, Stewart found his range and started to hurt "Zebrinha." The end came when Stewart landed a quick jab which dropped Spicely. Stewart took the risk and went into the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu blackbelt's guard to land follow-up punches. Shortly thereafter, the referee stepped in to stop the fight.
Battles hard before tapping out to Julian Marquez
Light HeavyweightUFC
December 16, 2017
Stewart lost to Julian Marquez via submission (guillotine choke) at 2:42 of Round 2 at UFC on FOX 26 on Saturday in Winnipeg.
Entering the night as the biggest underdog on the card (+280), Stewart put forth a heck of an effort on short notice. He was credited with four successful takedowns in Round 1 alone but he wasn't able to earn the stoppage despite racking up 3:21 worth of control time in the first frame. Stewart was visibly gassed in Round 2 and his exhaustion allowed Marquez to clamp on the guillotine that ended the fight. A loss is a loss, but Stewart should be proud of his performance. Marquez and Stewart earned $50,000 Fight of the Night bonuses for their efforts.
Added against Julian Marquez
Light HeavyweightUFC
December 6, 2017
Stewart will step in for Vitor Miranda and take on Julian Marquez at UFC on FOX 26 on December 16 in Winnipeg, MMAFighting.com's Guilherme Cruz reports.
With Miranda needing some time off due to various issues regarding his family, Stewart will have a chance to earn his second win in the promotion against a newcomer. Stewart enters having lost his past two bouts, including a defeat at the hands of Karl Roberson via submission (rear-naked choke) in Virginia last month. On the other side, Marquez recently bested Phil Hawes via KO (head kick) during his latest fight during Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series in early August.