The main event of UFC Mexico City ended before it could even get started, as an eyepoke from Yair Rodriguez put Jeremy Stephens out of commission just 15 seconds into the first round.
UFC Mexico City went down Saturday night at the Mexico City Arena and the main event featured a pair of featherweights at vastly different points in their careers. Fan-favorite Jeremy Stephens was in hostile territory, looking to snap a two-fight skid. Lil’ Heathen has always been a game fighter but has struggled with consistency even as his fights have entertained each and every time out. Yair Rodriguez, meanwhile, was looking to build on his stunning, last-second elbow finish of The Korean Zombie last November, in front of a hot Mexican crowd that would be fully in his corner.
Yair went out and opened up with a leg kick, and then finished the combination with a devastating eye poke. His right hand swiped downward with fingers extended as he backed away, catching Stephens in his left eye.
Herb Dean did a great job giving Stephens time, giving him the full five minutes in order to let his eye heal. Stephens kept saying “he got me good,” the replay then confirmed that. After the five minute break, the fight then was waved off after Stephens couldn’t open his eye.
The crowd then rained down with bottles and boos. Not surprising, but disappointing.
First, Yair Rodriguez was celebrating, as if he had won by TKO. Then, when he was informed that it was a no contest, his emotions quickly soured, lashing out at Michael Bisping when he was approached for an interview. Rodriguez’s coaches calmed him down, as he was obviously hurt that he was unable to perform in his home country.
Yair Rodriguez vs. Jeremy Stephens Ends in a No Contest (Eyepoke) in Round 1 (0:15)