Only once in his 14-year-long UFC career has Jeremy Stephens (28-18 1NC, 15-17 UFC) faced a break of more than 11 months, and so much time has passed since his last appearance. Also, he hasn’t competed in the lightweight category for a full nine years, but that will change this weekend as he returns to the under-70kg division.
At the UFC from the ESPN 22 show, in the co-title fight, "Lil 'Heaten" is waiting for a fight against Drakkar Klose. And the situation is not easy at all, since Stephens is within a series of four defeats. But it’s not something that puts pressure on him because he says this break served him well to sort out some of his priorities and take care of motivation.
He re-entered contact with his mother, a former addict he currently cares for, and he reduced his alcohol consumption. "This period has been a great experience. I have been fighting since I was 16 and I used to fight three or four times a month.
It was good to take a step back." "I have to take care of some things of a mental nature and some private things I had to sort out." "Outside of all this I'm doing a lot of different things and it was good to take a break this year.
I prepared myself for success. In short, I took one step back to make two in advance," Stephens, 34, told a news conference.
At 34, he’s still young for a single fighter, though many wouldn’t say so, looking at how long we’ve been following him.
But he came to the UFC as one of the youngest fighters in the promotion and stayed. He came to a few steps to attack the title but failed to do the most important thing. But it means a lot that the first association for all fans in his name will be the excitement that his fights bring.
But he says now is the time to win. "Now it's no longer just a matter of fighting, I've subordinated everything to victory. Victory, no matter what I need for it. I don't like being one of those who will be most important to say he provided the show."
"I have a family to feed, I won't earn as much as I should, ”he said, adding why he made the decision to change the category: "I'm changing the category because I want exciting fights that motivate me, and they're in the lightweight category.
I don't care about the belt, I want Nate Diaz, I want Conor McGregor, to kick his legs. I want to be paid and that's why I'm here, there are fights for I don't like to lose and on Saturday I will show that you should always count on Jeremy Stephens "