Jeremy Stephens
Lil' Heathen


Ultimately falls to Yair Rodriguez
October 18, 2019
Stephens lost to Yair Rodriguez via unanimous decision (28-29, 28-29, 28-29) at UFC Fight Night on Friday in Boston.
It's a testament to the toughness of Stephens that he even saw the final bell, let alone made this a competitive fight. After a subpar Round 1, things got worse for the Alliance MMA product in Round 2. He ate a massive body kick from Rodriguez and was seemingly inches away from being finished on multiple occasions. Referee Kevin MacDonald gave Stephens plenty of time to recover and he finally did so. Stephens picked up the pace considerably in the final frame led by a pair of successful takedowns, but it was too little too late. Had this bout been scheduled for five rounds like the main event between the two had been four weeks ago before an accidental eye poke ended the proceedings, Stephens might have been able to pull out a decision. As has been the the case for the majority of his career, Stephens displayed a ton of heart, but ultimately couldn't defeat the best the division had to offer. It's little consolation for a fighter who needed to win to keep his title hopes alive, but at the very least, he'll walk away with a $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus.
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Will rematch Rodriguez on Oct. 18
September 25, 2019
Stephens will rematch Yair Rodriguez at UFC Fight Night in Boston on Oct. 18, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
It appears that Stephens is okay following a physician's review of his corneal abrasion and as a result, is now scheduled to fight the main event of UFC Fight Night in Boston. It's fantastic news considering last Saturday's fight was ruled a no contest due to an accidental eye poke by Rodriguez. Because the last matchup was in Mexico City (the homeland of Rodriguez), Rodriguez was the slight betting favorite. With the fight now moved back to the U.S., it will now likely be closer to a pick'em. Prior to last Saturday's contest, Stephens most recently lost to Zabit Magomedsharipov via unanimous decision at UFC 235 on March 2.
Medical suspension may be an obstacle
September 24, 2019
Stephens has been medically suspended for 180 days pending a physician's review of a corneal abrasion, Marc Raimondi of reports.
The main event of UFC Mexico City lasted just 15 seconds before Stephens was accidentally poked in the eye and an involuntary muscle reaction prevented him from being able to open it, forcing the bout to be called off. There's been much talk of the two fighters running this one back, but an indefinite medical suspension is one potential obstacle. However, Stephens can be cleared by a physician at any point, which would pave the way for the UFC to reschedule the bout. Stephens closed as a slight underdog (+110) the first time around, but if the fight were to be moved to the US, that could easily swing the other way.
Eye poke ends evening early
September 21, 2019
Stephens and Yair Rodriguez fought to a no contest (accidental eye poke) at 0:15 of Round 1 at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Mexico City.
It's a crushing set of circumstances for Stephens. He spent more than a month in Mexico training for this fight and an accidental eye poke ended it just 15 seconds end. Referee Herb Dean did an excellent job of waiting it out in hopes of seeing Stephens regain his vision, but after five minutes, it was quite clear it wasn't happening. Perhaps the UFC will try to book this one again.
Scheduled for UFC Mexico City
July 26, 2019
Stephens will fight Yair Rodriguez at UFC Mexico City, Ariel Helwani of ESPN reports.
Stephens continues to flag top-flight competition at his weight class despite recent struggles in the octagon. Coming off of back-to-back losses, he'll look to make a statement versus Rodriguez, who is coming off of arguably the craziest win in UFC history. Stephens lands a strike less per minute and the two are pretty even as far as takedowns go. He's entering the fight in what looks to be the downswing of his career, but the veteran will certainly aim to make the most of his thunderous punches.
Skills don't translate against Zabit
March 2, 2019
Stephens lost to Zabit Magomedsharipov via unanimous decision (28-29, 28-29, 28-29) at UFC 235 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
By the time Stephens finally found his range in Round 3, the writing was already on the wall. A power puncher who swings for the bleachers with every shot he throws, Stephens simply doesn't have the technical skills to defeat an opponent such as Zabit in a fight that goes an extended amount of time. Jeremy really struggled to close the distance against his much taller opponent and while he landed plenty of strikes late, Zabit ate them without issue. Stephens has legitimate thunder in his hands, but his defense is poor and it has become abundantly clear over the years that he isn't on the same level as the top guys at 145 pounds. Again, this was a reasonable effort, but he simply didn't do enough to win. Stephens's high-water mark in the UFC has almost certainly come and gone.