Yair Rodriguez and Jeremy Stephens were supposed to fight in the main event of UFC Mexico last Saturday. Unfortunately, they barely got the chance.
Instead, Rodriguez inadvertently raked Stephens’ eye just seconds into the fight, and when Stephens couldn’t continue after five minutes, the fight was called off.
In the wake of this unfortunate twist, Rodriguez was visibly disappointed, and even accused Stephens of embellishing his injury. This, of course, did not go over well with the grizzled vet Stephens, who allegedly nearly started a second fight with Rodriguez after the card had ended.
Stephens discussed this incident on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on Monday.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) September 23, 2019
“He comes up all cordial, giving a thumbs up,” Stephens recounted. “He’s like ‘Hey everything ok?’ He comes up, shakes my hand, trying to be a gentleman…
“Then he starts talking shit to me. I’m like ‘I’m not from karate school. bro, I’m from the street. I’m here to compete, I’m here to fight, I’m here to kill you.'”
Stephens claims it was at this point that things briefly got physical. He adds that there is video of the incident, recorded by Rodriguez’s family, though he doubts that it will be released.
“Right away my mentality was ‘back the f**k up,’ so I shoved him,” he said. “His coaches, his Dad, his parents and everybody was like ‘whoa, whoa whoa.’ I know his sister has footage. I’m waiting for them to release that footage but I guarantee they’re not going to release it, cause he looked like a coward there, coming up. I thought he was trying to be a gentleman, unfortunately that wasn’t it. He wants to talk and say anything? I don’t know Yair, he doesn’t know me, but I’m not like that. I’m not gonna let you come up and talk s**t especially after you eye-poked me.”
In the wake of this foiled UFC Mexico fight, Jeremy Stephens has called for a do-over with Rodriguez. Time will tell if the UFC matchmakers grant his wish.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/23/2019.