Jeremy Stephens has explained why he believes he was being “iced out” by the UFC prior to leaving the promotion.
Last month, it was announced that UFC veteran Jeremy Stephens would not be re-signing with the company and would instead be heading to PFL. The 35-year-old last won a bout back in February 2018 but was always viewed as one of the most entertaining guys on the roster – especially across the featherweight and lightweight divisions.
Alas, while some may believe his relationship with the UFC wasn’t too bad, Stephens recently spoke to Ariel Helwani about his feelings towards how they treated him in the latter stages of his run.
“I asked (the UFC) to give me a favorable matchup,” Stephens said. “I’ve been fighting beasts, a murderers’ row for two decades, and I just felt like I was getting iced out. Only fighting once a year, that’s not good on the bank account. I’m just trying to be typical, just like you — I’m trying to provide for my family, and the only way I can do that is to fight, and they weren’t really fighting me.”
“You know how hard it is to fight on one paycheck once a year?” Stephens said. “I’m just like any normal human being. I just want an opportunity to go to work, earn my paycheck. I felt like I deserved that. I’ve earned that right. I’ve fought nothing but the best. Two-week notice, main event? Take the fight. Back-to-back, take the fight. I’ve done everything for that company and I don’t feel like they had my back in return in giving me a favorable matchup. I feel like anybody from the outside looking in would be like, ‘Damn, why don’t you give Jeremy a f*cking favorable matchup?’ Michael Johnson, Cerrone, Jim Miller, somebody who has been around as long as him and let’s see how I do then. You’re giving me top beasts.”
Quotes via MMA Fighting
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