After he dispatched Doo Ho Choi in the UFC Fight Night 124 headliner, Jeremy Stephens exchanged words with surging featherweight contender Brian Ortega, who was seated cageside in St. Louis.
However, Stephens didn’t exactly get the desired response when he challenged Ortega to fight down the road.
“After, I said, ‘Hey let’s go, you’re in front of me.’ He says he would like to sit and wait for a title,” Stephens said on Fox Sports 1. “Which is typical. Guys like to sit and wait on their ass and be lazy. Guys like to sit there and get money fights and sit around. Let’s fight bro. I’m healthy, I could fight him right now.”
While Stephens wasn’t thrilled, at least Ortega is consistent. After “T-City” submitted Cub Swanson at UFC Fight Night 123 on Dec. 9 for his fifth straight promotion triumph, Ortega admitted he would be willing to wait on the winner of the Max Holloway-Frankie Edgar championship clash. That bout has been booked for UFC 222 on March 3.
Meanwhile, UFC President Dana White was noncommittal regarding a potential Stephens vs. Ortega matchup.
“We’re looking at things right now for Ortega,” White said. “At the time, Jeremy was not in the picture, we weren’t talking about it, but we’ll see — anything’s possible.”
Stephens, a veteran of 26 Octagon appearances, earned a $50,000 “Fight of the Night” check for his win over Choi. “Lil Heathen” clearly isn’t a fan of waiting on the sidelines.
“I just made more money in 15 minutes than he [Ortega] does in 15 months,” Stephens said. “I don’t hit bunts, I hit home runs.That’s what I do. You want to sit on your butt. Eventually you’re gonna need a fight, and you’re gonna need a paycheck. I just won a crap ton of money by going out there and performing. If you want to make money in this game, you’ve got to fight.”