UFC 500th Milestones: Fighter – Jeremy Stephens

UFC News

The debated tap came in the second round of the fight. After Thomas, a UFC veteran by that point, controlled much of the action on the ground for the first minute, Stephens got loose before the end of the frame. The bout stayed standing for the first half of the second round, but soon after Thomas pulled guard, he secured Stephens’ left arm in a deep armbar attempt. Stephens slammed Thomas to no avail. When the two rolled back to the floor, Stephens’ right hand reached across his body, and John McCarthy stopped the fight. 

“I was like, ‘I didn’t f****** tap,”’ Stephens said. “I thought that was my only chance, and I was like, ‘Damn, I just blew it.’ And (the referee) was like, ‘You’ll be back. You’ll be back.’ I was like, ‘Damn, this guy could’ve broken my arm.’ I still would’ve kept fighting, but they gave me more and more opportunities.”

A one-fight detour followed the loss, but Stephens returned to the UFC four months after his debut and secured a unanimous decision over Diego Saraiva at UFC 76. Twelve years later, Stephens has seen and done as much as anyone in the promotion. 

With the longevity, records have followed. His 11 knockdowns in the featherweight division are the most all-time, and his 18 total ranks second only to Donald Cerrone’s 20. He’s one of only six fighters to appear at least 30 times in the UFC, and his total fight time (6:20:47) is third behind Rafael Dos Anjos and Frankie Edgar.

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