Jeremy Stephens withstood the big shots of Doo Ho Choi to knock out the South Korean in the second round of the UFC St. Louis main event.
Jeremy Stephens bounced back from two straight losses with a one-sided victory over Gilbert Melendez last September. Lil’ Heathen is known for his power and has won half of his 26 victories by knockout. Stephens has been fighting since 2005 and is 13-13 in the UFC.
Doo Ho Choi is back in the Octagon after missing last year due to injury. The South Korean phenom took his first loss in the Octagon at UFC 206 following three blistering first round knockouts. The loss, however, was the Fight of the Year against top-tier featherweight Cub Swanson, which was an all-out brawl.
Jeremy Stephens whiffed on a leg kick to start the fight and Choi answered with a pair of his own that connected. Choi went to the body with a kick. Stephens landed a leg kick as Choi landed a right over the top.
Stephens pushed forward and grazed Choi with heavy hooks. The defense of each fighter was on point early on. A knee from the clinch snuck through to the chin of Stephens followed by a deflected one-two.
Both fighters traded leg kicks and Stephens pushed forward to land several punches. Choi landed another leg kick, then connected with an elbow as he was hit with an overhand right. Choi clinched up with Stephens after Stephens pushed forward, then Stephens landed a hard elbow on the break. Doo Ho Choi landed a slick combination including a hard right hand, then both men exchanged jabs to close out the first stanza.
A swift front kick clocked Stephens on the chin to start the second round, but Stephens quelled his advance. Choi was forced backward and ate some shots from Stephens. A heavy counter landed for Stephens as Choi threw a leg kick and momentum swung his way. Choi went on the defensive and Stephens landed with tremendous accuracy.
An overhand left knocked down Choi and Stephens dove in with an elbow. The strike missed its target so Stephens threw it twice more and finally connected, which was essentially the finishing blow. A few punches later and the referee dove in to stop the contest.
Jeremy Stephens def. Doo Ho Choi by TKO (Elbows) in Round 2 (2:36)