Jeremy Stephens wants a rematch with Yair Rodriguez after their UFC Mexico showdown was derailed by an inadvertent eye poke.
“Let’s run it back,” Stephens told MMA Fighting. “That’s what I was telling him. Bring it. I’m in shape, you’re in shape, we both spent money, we both lost money on this, now it’s a check raise. Now, more eyes are on the show. Come over and we do this on American soil, and let’s see how they treat you over here. Bring it on.”
As badly as Stephens wants a do-over with his Mexican rival, he’s not optimistic it’ll happen. He believes that Rodriguez is a little too choosy when it comes to the matchups he accepts, and reminds that Rodriguez was even briefly released from the UFC for not accepting bout offers.
“I guarantee you the kid doesn’t want it,” Stephens said. “My bet money is that he doesn’t accept the fight, he bitches out and runs. That’s what he does. You saw how he acted after the win. He’s celebrating like he won over an eye poke. Who does that? The kid was nervous all week. I was up in his head, I’m still in his head, and he can either accept the fight or get the f—k out of my way.
“These are facts. I’ve never been cut from the UFC for not taking fights. I took a fight [against Zabit Magomedsharipov] when he wouldn’t take it. Who’s the bitch and who’s speaking real facts here? I pushed the kid and he didn’t do s—t.”
If Rodriguez doesn’t accept a rematch, Stephens won’t be surprised. At this stage, he feels that it’s par for the course for his featherweight peers to avoid him.
“People duck and dodge me all the time,” Stephens said. “Brian Ortega has ducked me four or five times. These guys don’t want to fight me. They have to fight me.
“It’s either Yair, or I have nothing attached to that and we move on. Either we fight or you shut the f—k up, and I continue to move forward.”
What do you think is next for Jeremy Stephens?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/24/2019.