UFC On Fox 28 (February 24 2018)
Jeremy Stephens Vs Josh Emmett
Winner – Jeremy Stephens Via Round 2 KO
Jeremy Stephens Vs Josh Emmett was a sensational way to put a cap on one of the best cards of 2018 so far. As promised, the fight was a showcase of two of the most powerful featherweights in the world and featured a destructive finish.
The fight got off to a solid start, with Emmett moving well on the outside while Jeremy pushed forward. Emmett found some minor success early, darting in and catching Stephens backing up. It didn’t take long before Stephens was able to time the footwork of Emmett and begin to land his own shots – getting the edge for the larger part of the first round. That was until Stephens became too aggressive in his hunt for the finish – pushing Emmett towards the fence and loading up for one of the bigger and more telegraphed uppercuts you will ever see. Emmett was able to counter with a clean short right hook – knocking Stephens to the canvas. Although definitely rocked, Jeremy was able to survive the remainder of the round without taking too much damage.
As always Jeremy Stephens’ coach Eric Del Fierro gave him perfect advice in the corner between rounds – both making him aware of his mistake and giving him things to improve on in the next round. This is now two fights in a row that Jeremy has won by second round knockout – both can partly be attributed to the precise and measured corner work of Del Fierro in between rounds. MMA corners across the board could greatly benefit from studying the corner work and fighter relationship of Del Fierro and Stephens.
Stephens entered the second round showing very little effect from the first round knockdown – marching toward Emmett immediately. Jeremy took the advice of his coach in stride and remained more measured in his approach, not forcing a finish. At about the one and a half minute mark of the round the finish materialised for Stephens. As Emmett lunged in with a single rear hand power shot with little finesse or set up – Stephens perfectly timed the counter, landing two hooks of his own – knocking Emmett down with the left. Stephens knew the finish was near and pounced on Emmett – throwing everything he could muster to get the finish. In the process Stephens attempted and landed some questionable shots, with at least one elbow landing behind the ear and an illegal knee barely missing Emmett’s head. Despite the questionable shots, the referee did not interfere and Stephens was able to clobber Emmett with a few more punches and elbows – leaving him out cold on the canvas.
I could not be more impressive with Jeremy and can not wait to see what the rest of 2018 holds for him. My only hope is that he take some time off before competing again as to not burn himself out before getting to that long awaited title shot.
This was a vintage Jeremy Stephens performance and his second of the year. It is beyond impressive for him to have two incredible performances like this, a little over a month apart, to kick off his 2018. After forty-two fights Jeremy Stephens is still growing and becoming a better martial artist, fighter and man everyday – and in the end isn’t that what it’s all about.