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With a decent list of top-caliber opponents on his résumé, Jeremy Stephens has shown that he has no problem facing the best of the best. After all, the guy has beaten two former Ultimate Fighting Championship title-holders. That makes a date with surging Russian Zabit Magomedsharipov just another day in the office.
At UFC 235, “Lil’ Heathen” will try to deal Magomedsharipov his first loss inside the Octagon. Learn why Stephens has what it takes to stop the rise of the fearsome prospect.
3: Wins without a loss to start his professional career. His first two fights took place in his birthplace of Des Moines, Iowa, and the last one happened in Minnesota. Stephens stopped all three of his opponents in the first round.
6: Fights in 2005, which was his most active year. He fought twice in January and once on the months of February, May, March and August. Also, 2005 was also his maiden year as a pro.
9: Fight winning streak was the longest of his career. After suffering his first loss to Chris Mickle, Stephens got back in the win column big time by taking his next nine. That impressive stretch includes two victories over Mickle.
15: Fights that passed before he experienced the final bell. At UFC 76, Stephens bounced back from his UFC debut loss to Din Thomas by engaging Diego Saraiva in a one-sided affair where he landed 50 significant strikes as opposed to Saraiva’s 11. Prior to that, all his fights ended via stoppage.
29: Fights in the UFC. Stephens has experienced ups and downs inside the Octagon and has faced the best fighters the featherweight and lightweight divisions have to offer. Such names include Rafael dos Anjos, Joe Lauzon, Anthony Pettis, Donald Cerrone, Yves Edwards, Cub Swanson, Charles Oliveira, Max Holloway, Renan Barao, Frankie Edgar, Gilbert Melendez and Jose Aldo.
6: Current or former UFC champions faced. Not many fighters can take pride in sharing the Octagon with such number of world class champs, and Stephens even defeated a couple of them. “Lil’ Heathen” beat Dos Anjos and Barao and lost to Edgar, Aldo, Pettis and Holloway.
22: Significant strikes against Dos Anjos’ nine. Stephens was tasked to welcome Dos Anjos into the Octagon at UFC 91. After a massive right uppercut that dropped the Brazilian, Stephens followed up with a flurry of punches to end the bout at 39 seconds of round three.
55: Significant strikes against Barao’s 43, which shows how close their UFC Fight Night 88 match was. It was a back-and-forth war, and after three rounds, the win was up for grabs. In the end, Stephens was given the unanimous decision.
40: Striking accuracy in the UFC. Stephens has attempted a total of 2,696 significant strikes and landed 1,086. His most in a single fight was 96, which he did at UFC 215 opposite Gilbert Melendez.
27: Takedowns landed in his entire UFC career. While he relies heavily in his striking, Stephens has also made good use of his wrestling background.