Jeremy Stephens is getting better with his ground defense but he's simply not at the level to handle guys like Joe Lauzon and his opponent tonight at Ultimate Fight Night 18, Gleison Tibau.
Stephens, who has major knockout power was stymied from the get-go. Anytime that he tried to let his hands go, Tibau charged and scored a takedown. In the second and third rounds it made Stephens tentative with his striking. Tibau scored a unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) win by consistently putting "Little Heathen" on the deck.
Tibau (17-6, 5-3 UFC) closed the first and second rounds by working arm-triangle chokes but Stephens (14-5, 3-4 UFC) showed enough fortitude to survive. Stephens missed the 155 limit by three pounds. That could've also been the reason he lacked explosiveness and couldn't throw punches in bunches.