Jeremy Stephens became a walking target for fans at UFC Mexico after his fight against Yair Rodriguez was stopped after just 15 seconds.
Stephens was unable to continue fighting in the main event after Rodriguez accidentally poked him in the eye at the start of the first round. Fans were unsurprisingly disappointed by the early stoppage, and took action into their own hands by pelting beer cans and garbage toward the cage.
Stephens and his team had trash thrown at them as they rushed out of the arena.
During an interview with MMA Fighting, he gave his take on the crowd’s reaction,
“No, I like beer – they were throwing beer,” said Stephens. “I get it. Trust me, I get it. I know how the Mexican crowd was, I knew they were booing me. I love that situation. I actually love being the underdog or the bad guy. I totally get it.
“It would have been the same thing if I won. I would have knocked him out, I’m always jumping over [the cage], hugging my wife, who knows what would have happened. Nothing I can do. It’s out of my control.”
Even though he holds no animosity towards the Mexican crowd, Jeremy Stephens felt for the security guards who protected his family and team as they left the event, as they received the brunt of the abuse.
“I just felt bad for the people who were trying to protect my family and the other people, because some of those people ended up getting hurt,” said Stephens. “I heard Carla Esparza had a beer thrown on her before she even came out. That’s not class at all, but that’s expected when you go to another country. They’re rivals and crazy fans.
“I actually kind of embrace that chaos. It was just one of those weird nights. I don’t hold any ill will.
“It sucks to go out like that. I had an amazing time and experience in Mexico. I chose to be down there. I spent a lot of time away from my family, and so did the other camp. Those guys spent time away from their families (and) spent money,” he said.
Jeremy Stephens and Yair Rodriguez will rematch at UFC Boston. Let’s hope for a more decisive end when they meet again.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/27/2019.