Jeremy Stephens has jokes ahead of UFC on ESPN 26: ‘When I shove people, they don’t f-cking move’

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LAS VEGAS – Jeremy Stephens still isn’t exactly happy about having his April bout with Drakkar Klose scrapped following a shove at the event’s ceremonial weigh-ins, but he’s at least far enough removed from the incident that he can enjoy a good laugh about it.

Stephens said in the aftermath of Klose’s withdrawal, he saw a meme of himself parodying his infamous, “When I knock people out, they don’t f-cking move,” line from an even more infamous 2016 press conference, and he had to restrain himself from sharing it on social media.

“‘When I shove people, they don’t f-cking move’ – you hear that, dude?” Stephens asked MMA Junkie at Wednesday’s media day at the UFC Apex. “I mean honestly after the fight, after that kind of went down, like I saw that, and like I really wanted to retweet it, but I didn’t – but it was just f-cking hilarious.”

Stephens didn’t find it quite as hilarious that he didn’t get his show money for the card despite his willingness to compete. Still, he’s not promising that if future opponents get in his face they won’t receive the same treatment.

“The human side of me was like, you know, that maybe could have waited,” Stephens said. “But, you know, the primal side was like, ‘Nah, f-ck that, bro. You broke protocol.’

“He gets right in my face and touches nose and nose, and to me, it was just like disrespect, bro. I’m showing up for a different reason. I was really showing up to really concuss him on Saturday night. I mean, call it brutal, what it is, but you watch my highlight tape. You know what I’m here to do, and to me, it was just disrespectful. Like we could have had it. We could have had a good fight.”

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Stephens (28-18 MMA, 15-17 UFC) has since moved on from the Klose matchup and said he’s really not interested in rebooking it moving forward. Instead, he now faces Mateusz Gamrot (18-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) at Saturday’s UFC on ESPN 26 at the UFC Apex. The card airs on ESPN and streams on ESPN+.

Stephens said he’s actually excited to face a guy he finds more dangerous than Klose.

“You know, he’s another guy I feel like is going to want to be taking me down,” Stephens said. “Trains with a great camp at American Top Team, so they gameplan really well, but he’s going to find out in there. It’s hard to gameplan against a dude just throwing bricks and shotguns at your chest and body and is able to defend takedowns, as well.”

For Stephens, the frustration of the April incident still looms large in the background, but he insists it won’t impact his performance on Saturday night. After all, Stephens has been competing professionally since 2005 and has a well-earned reputation at this point in his career.

“Lil’ Heathen” has seen it all, but when the cage door shuts, nothing changes.

“Every night is a big night, man – your ass is on the chopping block every time you get in the UFC, even if you’re on a win streak,” Stephens said. “You don’t give a f-ck, man. You got to go out there and do your thing, but I don’t want to ever put that pressure on. I can just fight. I can scrap. I just have it naturally, you know? I know that, but I know that I want to win. I don’t want to f-cking lose. I don’t want to be one of them guys, just come in like, ‘Oh, I had a great performance.’ No, I want to put people away. I want to win.

“You know, like I’ve been telling people, the money is for my family, for my future, for them to play softball, for them to do their thing. I just want the f-cking win. I just to stand over your body after I concussed you and you’re laying there, and just almost like, ‘Aargh!” That’s the win, bro. That’s what I chase, is f-cking the adrenaline.”

To see the full interview with Stephens, check out the video above.

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