Over the last few years in Mixed Martial Arts, money fights and super fights pitting legends of the sport or entertainer-turned-fighters against each other has seem to become the norm. But for UFC featherweight fighter and Des Moines, IA native, Jeremy Stephens (26-14), the old school, anytime/anywhere, swing for the fences style of fighting has been working out just fine for him and has landed him in another main event fight live on Fox this Saturday night at UFC Fight Night: Emmett vs Stephens. “I’m coming, I’m bringing it and everybody knows what’s coming,” said Stephens. ”They know my style of fighting and we are going to go in there and handle business.”
Stephens’ style of fighting has been on display for over a decade now in the UFC, but most recently last month in St Louis where he headlined that card as well, knocking out the highly touted, fresh faced featherweight Dooho Choi. And the quick turnaround is quite familiar to him as well. “It really just plays as an advantage for me,” explained Stephens. “Back in the day this is the way I used to fight to come up and make it into the UFC.”
Across from Stephens on Saturday night will be Josh Emmett (13-1), who before knocking out Ricardo Lamas last December, was seemingly unknown in the UFC and certainly not a top ten contender. “Whatever Emmett’s done is done. Whatever he’s done, I don’t care,” said Stephens. “People are putting themselves into opportunities in fighting and other people don’t step up and they miss these opportunities. He took a fight on short notice and he went in there and performed.”
Known as one of the hardest hitters in the sport, Stephens attributes his way of fighting and way of life to his Midwest roots and especially his Hispanic side of his family. “I come from a humble family and we come together as a familia and make things happen, said Stephens. “They are who I am and being part Mexican, its part of my culture and I love every part of it. I’m a Mexican type of fighter. I’ve got a big corazon and my Mexican style fighting is in your face. It’s never back down. It’s bite down on your mouth piece and swing for the fences.”
A win on Saturday night would most likely put Stephens in a title contention or even a title fight for his next fight. But title fight or not, Stephens looks to do what he has always done since making his UFC debut back in 2007. “I look at me as a hitman,” explained Stephens. They (UFC) call me up. They want a guy taken out, they call me up. This is contract kill that I need to go out there and execute. So I plan on doing that. I’m in there to get my win, get my hand raised, collect my money and take care of my family. That’s all I care about.”
Jeremy Stephens will face Josh Emmett in the main event of UFC Fight Night: Emmett vs Stephens, Saturday, February 24th live on Fox, 8pm ET/5pm PT.
Photo credit: Getty Images/Zuffa, LLC.