Las Vegas, NV — Jeremy Stephens was the impetus for the UFC cracking down on fighters touching each other at weigh-ins. That, after a violent shove injured would-be opponent Drakkar Klose earlier this year, canceling the pair’s bout in the process.
But “Lil Heathen” doesn’t believe anything will actually change.
“That doesn’t work man. I’ve seen so many people touch people. This is the fight game, this isn’t a sport. You want to keep it a sport, watch something else,” Stephens exclaimed during the UFC Vegas 31 media day on Wednesday. “Conor [McGregor] kicked Dana [White], did he get in any trouble or get any fines taken out? Hell no. Boy’s making him millions and millions of dollars.”
“It’s the fight game, people love that sh*t to be honest,” Stephens added.
The long-time UFC veteran may be right: they do. But Stephens isn’t making the UFC millions of dollars, and where Conor McGregor is given a lengthy rope, Stephens enters his fight with Mateusz Gamrot having not won a fight since 2018.
Still, there’s plenty of fire left in the 35 year old, who said Wednesday that he had been in a “good head place and space” ahead of the would-be fight with Klose, “and the opportunity didn’t come.”
“I realize everything happens for a reason. Take the positive out of it, just like I go about my life. And here we are, facing I feel like a more game opponent, a little bit more dangerous of an opponent, a guy that can mix it up a lot better than Drakkar, so I’m excited.”
While he may be excited now, Stephens had no idea who the former KSW double champ was originally. “I had to look him up,” he admitted.
Watch the full UFC Vegas 31 media day scrum with Jeremy Stephens above. Stephens faces Mateusz Gamrot this Saturday, July 17 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, NV.