Downing started his professional career in 2009. Until October 2011, he fought for many promotions throughout the United States, most notably Bellator and Shark Fights.
For Bellator, he faced Chad Vandenberg and Danny Tims. Downing defeated Vandenberg via submission in the third round, and defeated Tims via split decision (30-27 Downing, 29-28 Tims, 30-27 Downing).
For Shark Fights, he faced Ran Weathers and Roberto Vargas. Downing defeated Weathers by knockout early in the first round, but against Vargas, he had his first defeat via split decision (30-27 Vargas, 30-27 Vargas, 30-27 Downing).
Downing fought in the first two events of Resurrection Fighting Alliance. He defeated Eric Marriott at RFA 1: Elliott vs. Pulver and Alessandro Ferreira at RFA 2: Yvel vs. Alexander, both via unanimous decision.
Downing faced Jordan Rinaldi on November 30, 2012 at RFA 5: Downing vs. Rinaldi. He defeated Rinaldi in a five-round bout via unanimous decision to become the promotion's first-ever featherweight champion.
Downing faced Lance Palmer on June 21, 2013 at RFA 8: Pettis vs. Pegg in his first title defense. Downing lost his title via split decision after five rounds (48-46 Downing, 48-46 Palmer, 48-46 Palmer).
After some years away from the promotion, Downing was called to replace an injured Rob Emerson against Patricio Freire on July 31, 2013 at Bellator 97. He was defeated via TKO in the second round.
Downing faced The Ultimate Fighter 5 competitor Rob Emerson on October 18, 2013 at Bellator 104. He lost via submission early in the first round.Resurrection Fighting Alliance
RFA featherweight title (one time; first)