Posts Tagged ‘Jeremy Stephens’

UFC on Fuel TV 3 recap: “Korean Zombie” hungry for featherweight gold

<p>UFC Featherweight Chan Sung Jung celebrates his UFC on Fuel TV 3 win (</p>

UFC on Fuel TV 3 settled the future of the UFC’s featherweight division with a main event between Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier and the “Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung Tuesday night. Taking place at Fairfax, Va.’s Patriot Center, it saw the “Korean Zombie” win a brutal battle that could wake the dead.

Both men delivered enough violence for “28 Days Later.” Jung caught one of Poirier’s kicks early and took him down twice. Jung then cut “The Diamond” with elbows, and ate up kicks going into Poirier’s guard.

Dueling “Zombie” and “USA” chants erupted as both fighters traded blows and Jung drilled Poirier’s head into the ground stuffing a takedown. As if smelling blood, “Zombie” began throwing vicious knees and rolled through another takedown to try some ground and pound.

From there, Jung put Poirier through some serious survival horror. Strikes were relentlessly launched, limbs often torqued and bodies frequently slammed. Poirier tried weathering the assault, but it was too much. “Zombie” caught him in a d’arce choke and drove him into his darkest nightmares.

Earlier on, Tom “Filthy” Lawlor came to party, entering the Octagon with a birthday entourage sporting zany hats. Once the cage door closed, he was all business in a quick brawl with Jason “The Athlete” MacDonald. Dropping MacDonald with hooks to each side of his head, “Filthy” found a place in the winner’s circle with a whirlwind TKO.

“Virginia is for lovers, right?” an elated Lawlor said after the match. “I love you guys. This is definitely one of the best 50 states to fight in.”

Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone also came prepared for a shootout with Jeremy “Lil’ Heathen” Stephens. He struck on all levels, bashing Stephens’ entire body every chance he got. By fight’s end, “Cowboy” had made a map of bruises on Stephens’ face. It was a spectacle that won Cerrone the fight via unanimous decision.

In other action, Fabio Maldonado faced Igor “The Duke” Pokrajac in an all-out brawl. Pokrajac planted Maldonado on the mat, pinning him until a late standup. Once on the feet, the two traded vicious body blows in a relentless exchange. From there, the match devolved into dirty boxing bursting with knees and heaps of hooks. In the end, Pokrajac edged out Maldonado in a split decision.

After that, Yves “Tiger” Jabouin tangled with Jeff “Hellbound” Houghland. “Tiger” pounced early with a spinning low kick that rocketed Houghland across the cage. A second one floored him, and Jabouin followed with frantic hammer fists. It didn’t work, however, and “Tiger” pursued his prey to a unanimous decision win instead.

Amir Sadollah scrapped with Jorge Lopez in the co-main event. Grappling for cage control, Lopez eventually laid him out with a gigantic slam. Sadollah survived, and both men tried grinding each other down from then on. In the night’s most lackluster fight, Sadollah scored the “W” via split decision.

Besides that one bad fight, UFC on Fuel TV 3 was one of 2012’s most entertaining cards thus far. A small card that delivered big fights, it also promises that featherweight champ Jose Aldo has a “Korean Zombie” in his future.

UFC on FUEL TV 3 event results

UFC on Fuel TV 3: Donald Cerrone Readies for a Shootout

UFC lightweight Donald Cerrone. (Photo courtesy of Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Donald “The Cowboy” Cerrone (Twitter: @DonaldCerrone) wants a Wild West duel for his UFC on Fuel TV 3 matchup.

The 17-4 UFC lightweight will face 20-7 Jeremy “Lil’ Heathen” Stephens at the May 15 fight card in Fairfax, Va.’s Patriot Center. Speaking with MMADiehards last week Wednesday, “The Cowboy” claimed his upcoming bout will put the “ugly” in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

“I’m super excited to fight Stephens as he shows up,” Cerrone said following a visit to the Inova Fairfax Hospital. “This guy comes to bring it. Stephens stands in the pocket and doesn’t go down easily. It’s going to be a great fight.”

Cerrone said his strategy against Stephens is simple: the Albuquerque, N.M. fighter plans on standing toe-to-toe with his foe and winning the striking war. An accomplished Muay Thai martial artist, Cerrone has one Knockout of the Night on his record and a long history of delivering big beatings. Should that fail, the lanky lightweight has no problem lassoing opponents on the ground with an array of chokes and armbars.

“I plan on going out and throwing down,” Cerrone said. “That’s what the fans want to see. An exciting fight is about not backing down and just fighting. It’s the only style I know.”

Such aggressive showmanship has won Cerrone a whopping seven Fight of the Night honors, five in the WEC and two in the UFC. He’ll look for another at Fuel TV 3, hoping to upstage the main event’s featherweight fight between 12-3 “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung and 12-1 Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier. Given Cerrone can also claim 2009′s Fight of the Year and 2008′s Round of the Year on his resume, that shouldn’t be a problem.

Ironically, Cerrone’s original opponent at UFC on Fuel TV 3 wasn’t Stephens. “The Cowboy” was initially set to clash with the 41-8-1 Yves “The Thugjitsu Master” Edwards, only for Edwards to drop out after an injury. As Cerrone sees it, how you fight is more important than whom.

“The condition at the TapOut ranch is superb,” Cerrone said of his 10-acre training ranch in Albuquerque. “We have guys from all over the world come out here and train. It’s awesome man. I’ve had weeks to prepare so I’m all good with Stephens like I would have been with Edwards.”

Cerrone said he’s particularly eager to face Stephens as it’s his first UFC fight in 2012. Fighting in the Octagon five times last year, Cerrone lost only once, dropping a decision to 15-7 Nate Diaz at UFC 141 last December. Cerrone said he’s eager to remain as active this year, vowing to fight as much as possible.

“I want to do maybe seven fights,” Cerrone said. “That’s my plan.”

If “The Cowboy” seems particularly driven, it’s because he is. Cerrone said he wants to reign supreme at lightweight this year. Standing in his way is current champion and former WEC peer Benson “Smooth” Henderson, the division’s new 16-2 champion following UFC 144. Having lost twice to Henderson in the WEC, Cerrone said he’s eager to show he can ride roughshod over the champ in their next encounter.

“I want to be the champion this year,” Cerrone said. “I really like Henderson. He’s the big dog on top. I’m excited he got the title and I’m excited to take it from him.”

Edwards out, Stephens in against Cerrone at UFC on FUEL TV 3

UFC 136: Jeremy Stephens ready to unload during, after fight with Anthony Pettis

Jeremy Stephens knows when it’s time to celebrate.

Stephens (Twitter: @LiLHeathenMMA) is approaching a bout against Anthony Pettis at UFC 136 on Saturday at the Toyota Center in Houston.  The event comes equipped with a two-day fan expo that involves MMA fighters, personalities and merchandisers socializing with UFC fanatics.

The fan expo promises a lengthy list of fighter attendees, both past and present, but Stephens prefers to avoid the spectacle.

“I’m more of a guy that likes to stay indoors and go do my training and maybe go outside to do a little meditation and relax,” Stephens admitted to  “I don’t like to be around a lot of people at that time.  I’m focused on cutting weight and doing my thing.  I stay in the hotel room and grind it out.  That way, when I come out, I come out like a caged beast that’s been trapped all week.”

Assisting Stephens in becoming a beast in the cage are a plethora of experienced mixed martial artists.  From training with the sport’s veterans to the rising stars, the Iowa native covered all bases when preparing for “Showtime.”

Victory MMA in San Diego is home base for Stephens’ preparations, but “Lil Heathen” acquired the assistance of a UFC champ and somebody to mimic Pettis.

“I trained over at Alliance MMA with Dominick Cruz and some of his guys,” Stephens said.  “I brought in this kid Jerome-Max Holloway from Hawaii who throws all the Anthony Pettis kicks; he throws all those crazy kicks and more.  I flew him in for seven weeks.

“I also had my regular guys like Dean Lister for my jiu-jitsu, Myles Jury is in the camp now, his knee is 100 percent and healed up.  Several more guys, too, that were just going strong and working hard.  It was a really good camp.  We put in a lot of hard work and had a lot of fun.  I’ve grown and learned a lot in this camp, so I’m super excited.  It’s been a really great camp.”

Stephens is matched up against a competitor who is a former UFC lightweight No. 1 contender and the WEC lightweight champion emeritus.  Therefore, if Stephens can defeat Pettis, it cannot go unnoticed by the UFC.

A victory over Pettis will undeniably raise him in the lightweight rankings.  However, Stephens’ focus is elsewhere.

“Even after I get through Anthony Pettis I still have a long way to go,” Stephens explained.  “As far as rankings, I’m really not concerned.  I just have to worry about getting past (Pettis) and beating his ass down on October 8.”

Stephens intends on going to UFC 136 to fight and come home with victory, not partake in the week’s festivities.  But once the “beast” is out of him, “Lil Heathen” will let loose.

“After I win, I like to celebrate,” Stephens explained.  “I’m going to go in and take Anthony Pettis out, and then go have some fun.  I’ll enjoy some time with my family and friends.”

That’s how you party like a heathen.

Maia vs. Santiago, Pettis vs. Stephens set for Spike TV’s UFC 136 “UFC Prelims”

Jeremy “Little Heathen” Stephens vs. Anthony “Showtime” Pettis slated for UFC 136

TUF 13 Finale: Guida, Jorgensen, and Roop shine

(photo courtesy of

“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 13 Finale being held at The Palms Casino Resort brought together a great array of fights, both relating to season 13 and others not.  The following gives a breakdown of the fights not directly related to this season of TUF.

Starting an exciting night of fights for the Facebook prelims was Reuben Duran vs. Francisco Rivera.

There were multiple guillotine attempts by both fighters who put on a display of both striking and ground work.  Coming out on top was Duran with a rear naked choke submission win at 1:57 of the third round.

“I Trained really hard,” said Duran. “I knew he was tough and glad I could show case my skills.”  Those skills earned Duran the Submission of the Night award which pocketed him and extra $40,000 for his efforts.

The second fight brought WEC veteran Scott Jorgensen against the game Ken Stone.

With Jorgensen coming off of a decision loss to Dominick Cruz, he wanted to make his UFC debut on a winning note to start his journey to the championship belt.

Stone came out of the gates utilizing leg kicks, which cause Jorgensen to take the fight to the ground.  While there, Stone’s America Top Team training was apparent with his aggressive submission attempts.  In the guard, Jorgensen took advantage of his leverage and landed a devastating right hand that ended the bout by knockout at 4:01 of the first round.

Jorgensen makes his UFC debut known in a dominating fashion and sends a message to the bantamweight division, “I have a lot of power and I’m on a mission.”

Both George Roop and Josh Grispi came into this fight suffering a loss the last time they put on the gloves.  With this being their second fight in the UFC, this is the time to make the turn for their career.

Coming into this fight, it is recognized that he has striking coach, Shawn Tompkins in his corner.  His standup training can be noticed by the crisp elbows being landed every time Grispi makes the attempt at a takedown.

Roop continues the fight putting on a full MMA display; controlling Grispi on the ground for the entire second round and entertaining the fans to a striking clinic in the third round.  Roop brought the fight to an end at 3:14 of the third round with a devastating right hook to the body of Grispi, sending him to the ground and causing a referee stoppage.

Roop was a 6-1 underdog coming into this fight, proving to the odds-makers why he should not be taken lightly.

The final fight shown during the Facebook prelims was Danny Downes vs. Jeremy Stephens. Downes, who is a Duke Rufus protégé, was a late replacement for the injured Jonathan Brookins.

Stephens shows off his crisp striking for most of the fight, but gave Downes his greatest test of heart with a deep kimura attempt that had his arm wrapped around his back.  Downes showed his determination and pulled through the kimura, taking the fight into the third round and to a judge’s decision.

Stephens proved to be too much winning the fight via unanimous decision.  When asked about the kimura attempt, Stephens said, “I heard something pop. I said, ‘It’s broken, it’s broken,’ but Danny Downes is one tough son-of-a-gun.”

Season eight TUF veteran Kyle Kingsbury had a tough opponent in the boxing pro, Fabio Maldonado.  Kingsbury came out landing knees to the head and body throughout the entire fight.  Maldonado attacked the body with vicious hooks and closed the left eye of Kingsbury, but it all proved to not be enough in the eyes of the judges.

Kingsbury wins the fight by unanimous judge’s decision, continuing his winning streak to four inside of the octagon.  The effort put forth by both fighters was recognized by UFC President, Dana White, who awarded them with the Fight of the Night bonus, which earned both fighters a deserving $40,000.

Member of the season three cast of TUF was Ed Herman facing Tim Credeur for his returning fight since surgery.  Herman does not waste any time with his first fight back and brings it to an end 0:48 of the very first round.

Herman stunned Credeur with a right uppercut, which dropped him to the ground.  Herman capitalizeby  jumping on top of Credeur to continue the attack and getting the referee stoppage.

“I’ve been practicing my clinch in training,” proclaimed Herman. “That has been my money punch.”

The co-main event of the evening was the UFC lightweight veteran, Clay Guida against the WEC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis. Pettis had to come into this fight with a win in order to put him in direct contention at the UFC lightweight belt.

Guida managed to control the fight for the majority of the fight with Pettis on his back.  Pettis made multiple submission attempts from his back, but he was unable to secure a fight ending hold.

The third round brought a great back and forth battle, but Guida was able to earn himself a unanimous decision, putting Pettis run UFC lightweight belt temporally on hold.

“I’m the number one contender,” proclaimed Guida. “You want to see the most exciting lightweight fight in the world, put me in the ring.”

TUF 13 Finale: Preliminary fights on Facebook

Jeremy Stephens: Making opponents pay for his birthday

Lightweight UFC fighter Jeremy “Lil Heathen” Stephens recently celebrated his 26th birthday, and seeing as the Iowa native is approaching a fight at The Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale, he could not do the typical things people do for their birthday.  However, Stephens still enjoyed his cool presents and night out.

“I got a Jugo Juice gift card, which is one of my favorite places to go get a wheatgrass shot and smoothies,” Stephens told MMA DieHards in an interview.  “I went and saw The Hangover 2 and had some dinner with my friends.  It was quiet, but a good time.”

A week after Stephens’ birthday, and he meets former WEC fighter Danny Downes at the TUF 13 finale, but Downes comes in as a late replacement for injured Jonathon Brookins.  The last minute change does not take “Lil Heathen’s” focus away from the most important thing, training, because Stephens is ready to fight whoever, whenever.

“I can fight anybody on the drop of a dime,” Stephens admitted.  “It doesn’t matter to me.  It’s a fight and I know that and I knew a long time ago that I was going to be fighting, so I prepare myself as best I can.  I’m the best I can be right now, and the best I have ever been.  I feel greater than I’ve ever felt.  I’ve been fighting in the UFC for five years now, I just had my birthday and I’m in the best shape of my life.  I continue to improve and I’m going to go out there and smash this kid.”

A change in opponent does not force Stephens to make drastic adjustments in preparations for the fight, either.  Regardless if it is Downes or Brookins facing “Lil Heathen”, the Victory MMA fighter knew he had a fight, so it makes no difference to him who his opponent is.

“Not too much (changed), because regardless I still fight,” Stephens explained.  “Brookins is more of a wrestler and Downes is more of a standup fighter, so I had to make some adjustments as far as training, but I’m still going to go in there and execute my game plan.  I’m going to do what I do, I don’t have to worry about wrestling aspect as much as I expected, or the ground game.  It’s still a fight and I still have to go out there and perform and do my best.”

Downes does not have the wealth of fights some of Stephens’ prior opponents have had, which makes finding tape on Roufusport fighter difficult to find.  Stephens, however, has familiarized himself with Downes and had a terrific camp; therefore he feels he is equipped to defend whatever game plan Downes brings at him.

“I got some tape on Downes,” Stephens admitted.  “Before I really didn’t know too much about him, but I have watched tape on him and I know who he is now. (Camp) couldn’t be better.  I worked with some wrestlers because of my original opponent, and I’ve been doing some cross-training.  I’m injury free.  I’m going in there 150 percent.  I feel really good about this camp and everything is in order.”

 The former Midwest Cage Championship lightweight champion is a fighter that the UFC and fans can bank on for three solid fights. Stephens has only endured one year out of his five n the UFC where he did not fight three times, and in that time “Lil Heathen” has provided spectacular performances, picked up three knockout of the night awards and a fight of the night award.  Though, Stephens admits he is sufficed with the amount he fights because it allows the UFC lightweight to do other things he enjoys, that does not mean “Lil Heathen” would not accept more fights.

“(Three fights a year) isjust the way it works out, but I do like it like that,” Stephens said.  “It gives me time to be around my family and do other things I like to do.  I’m still good financially and it’s good on my body to have three fights a year, (plus) I stay pretty active.  It depends on the fights and how they go too.  If I won first round, first minute, then I’d be ready to fight again a couples weeks later if they allowed me to.  Also, if somebody pulled out of a fight, I would definitely jump in.  It just depends on how all the fights go, but three fights a year is generally what the UFC does, and I like that.

 “Lil Heathen” is content with the direction that, not only his career, but his entire life is heading.  At 26 years of age, Stephens is an established UFC fighter, beat some tough opponents, created a financially stable lifestyle, built a family and it continues to grow.

“I have another daughter on the way, and just training and getting better,” Stephens said.  “Every day is getting better.  I got my family growing; I’m growing as a person and making good changes to have success in the future.  I happy with the way things are in my life.”

Stephens sacrificed a lot to get where he is at in his MMA career, and with a new baby on the way the father knows there will be more life events he will have to surrender just to further his career.  Just as “Lil Heathen’s” 26th birthday and many more special days in his life have been harnessed, Stephens knows there are more to come, yet he is at peace with that, because his opponent pays in the end.

“Sometimes I miss out on Christmas and New Years (Eve), but I go in there and make my opponent pay for it and get my reward at the end.”

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