Last night, at the official press conference for the stacked UFC 205, Jeremy Stephens did what very few fighters have the courage to do, and engaged MMA’s reigning trash-talk king Conor McGregor on the microphone. This attempt did not go especially well for the featherweight slugger.
I appreciate Jeremy Stephens efforts he but he got totally destroyed by Conor McGregor. 'Who the fuck is that guy?' pic.twitter.com/Q5CyG0f7fk
— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) September 27, 2016
“Right here,” Stephens bravely interjected when McGregor was asked which of the other fighters on stage would give him the hardest fight. “The real, hardest-hitting 145-pounder, right here. [McGregor] TKOs people. When I knock people out they don’t f*cking move.”
“Who the f*ck is that guy?” a glib McGregor then responded to the rapturous laughter of the fans in attendance.
In the wake of this failed verbal battle with McGregor, Stephens followed up on the incident with Fox Sports: Pro Cast, saying that he didn’t actually hear McGregor’s response, and that McGregor wanted no part of him back stage.
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) September 28, 2016
“You know, I’m not sure what that fire crotch said, I couldn’t really hear him at the presser,” he said. “It doesn’t really matter. I went back stage and the little leprechaun wanted no part of it. He locks himself in a room, talks a big fictional character up, but he didn’t want to back it up. He’s locked in a little room. Hopefully he’ll step up to the plate and fight a real savage like me. You know I’ll mop the floor with that little ginger crackhead ay day. Until then I’ll be fighting Frankie Edgar, November 12 at [Madison Square Garden].
While Stephens’ continued effort to build a marketable feud with McGregor is commendable, there seems to be little chance that the two strikers cross paths any time soon.
Though McGregor is the reigning champion of the featherweight division, the division Stephens calls home, he’s got his sights set soundly on a lightweight title fight with Eddie Alvarez. Should McGregor win this fight, he’ll then apparently be forced to vacate one of the two titles, and the featherweight title seems like the far more likely choice in that regard.
Stephens, meanwhile, will fight former lightweight champion and two-time featherweight title challenger Frankie Edgar several hours before McGregor and Alvarez go at it. Hopefully, the featherweight contender is not overlooking this mountainous challenge. If he is, his looming trip to Madison Square Garden will likely be a tough one.
Would you be interested in a McGregor vs. Stephens bout? If this fight happened, who do you think would come out on top? Sound off, PENN nation!