It was a close first frame, but Tavares managed to stay one step ahead of McDaniel the entire time. Whether it was stopping McDaniel's takedowns, being first to the punch (to the body and head) or pressuring in the clinch, Tavares managed to lead the offense in the first round of the meeting between the two The Ultimate Fighter veterans. While not a runaway for the native Hawaiian, he scored multiple leg and body kicks that kept McDaniel on the defensive.
The second frame started with more energy and Tavares begin to open up with short, tight inside right hands before and after McDaniel's combinations. McDaniel, however, was able to take Tavares down at the end of a striking exchange. It didn't last long, though, as Tavares was able to push McDaniel's hips away and stand. From there Tavares picked up where he left off from the first round, methodically but almost quietly outstriking McDaniel and being more proactive with his offense.
By the third round, McDaniel opened with pressure, even scoring a sneaky left hand over the top on a flat-footed Tavares. After an inadvertent groin kick from Tavares briefly stopped the action, McDaniel managed to score a contested double leg takedown and move to half guard. McDaniel wasn't able to submit Tavares or land hugely significant strikes, but was able to hold the Hawaiian down and threaten position for the remainder of the round.
For his efforts, the judges awarded Brad Tavares the win by unanimous decision, all of them seeing it 29-28, 29-28, 29-28 in his favor.
Tavares moves to 11-1 in professional MMA while McDaniel drops to 21-7.