Jeremy Stephens
Lil' Heathen

USA

Eye poke ends evening early
FeatherweightUFC
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.
ANALYSIS
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.
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Scheduled for UFC Mexico City
FeatherweightUFC
July 26, 2019
Stephens will fight Yair Rodriguez at UFC Mexico City, Ariel Helwani of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
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
FeatherweightUFC
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.
ANALYSIS
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.
Facing Magomedsharipov at UFC 235
FeatherweightUFC
December 18, 2018
Stephens will face off with Zabit Magomedsharipov at UFC 235 in Las Vegas on Mar. 2, Damon Martin of MMA Weekly reports.
ANALYSIS
After taking a loss to Jose Aldo back in July, "Lil' Heathen" has another tough test on tap. Magomedsharipov is 16-1 overall, including four wins in the UFC promotion - three of which came by submission. The Russian also has the height advantage over Stephens (6-foot-1 versus 5-foot-9, respectively), though Stephens holds a distinct advantage having faced many of the top competitors in the weight class while also winning three of his own last four fights.
Finished by Jose Aldo Saturday in Calgary
FeatherweightUFC
July 28, 2018
Stephens lost to Jose Aldo via TKO (punches) at 4:19 of Round 1 at UFC on FOX 30 on Saturday in Calgary.
ANALYSIS
Stephens had his chances. He clocked Aldo with multiple uppercuts but the Brazilian managed to survive. Stephens is known for having one of the best chins in the sport, but it was a body shot from Aldo that finished him in this fight. One well-timed punch to the liver had Stephens doubled over in pain and he was never able to recover. Stephens's greatest asset is his aggressiveness but that pressure is going to lead to return fire coming his way, and this was the rare instance in which he couldn't absorb it. The loss snaps a three-fight win streak for the 32-year-old.
Facing Jose Aldo in Calgary
FeatherweightUFC
April 27, 2018
Stephens will fight Jose Aldo as one of the co-main events at in Calgary on July 28, Daniel Austin of the Calgary Sun reports.
ANALYSIS
A win in this featherweight bout for Stephens could certainly be enough for a title shot against either Max Holloway or Brian Ortega. The 31-year-old is coming off three consecutive wins, whereas Aldo has lost three of his last four matches.