Simpson dominanted position, landed some strikes and mostly pinned Tavares against the fence standing for long stretches of the fight. He also made a few notable submission attempts.
But Tavares landed several hard punches some even stunning Simpson. He also took Simpson down, even slamming him hard at once point, but it never added up to enough to win a round on a single judge's score card. Simpson refused to lose and never stopped attacking.
With the win Simpson improves his UFC record to 5-2 and puts his previous two fight losing streak in the rearview mirror by adding a second straight win.
Tavares falls to 1-1 with the promotion. He is a veteran of The Ultimate Fighter reality show.