Former UFC lightweight Jeremy Stephens will call a new promotion home this year.
Stephens (28-19, 1NC) fought out his contract in 2021, suffering a loss in his final fight inside the octagon against Mateusz Gamrot. “Lil Heathen” had first fought under the UFC banner in 2007, and would go on to compete there 34 times in total. The hard-hitting featherweight and lightweight became a fan favorite during his time in the UFC, pulling off memorable knockouts of Rafael dos Anjos, Josh Emmett, and others.
Earlier this month, news of Stephens departing the UFC made the rounds. On Monday, the 35-year old Alliance MMA fighter announced on The MMA Hour that he had signed on with the PFL.
Stephens said he’ll debut this April against an opponent yet to be determined. While he has fought at both lightweight and featherweight in the past, it will be the 155lb division he’ll join this season.
Despite some early success in the UFC, Stephens has not won a fight since 2018. He lost five of his final six fights for the promotion; the other ended in the no contest due to an accidental eye poke.
In addition, Stephens courted controversy when he shoved Drakkar Klose at weigh-ins ahead of UFC on ESPN 22 in April of last year. That assault resulted in Klose sustaining a spinal injury, and their fight the following day wound up cancelled.