An eye poke ended Jeremy Stephens’ fight against Yair Rodriguez in Mexico City after only 15 seconds on Saturday. Stephens now wants a rematch, which was made clear in a hotel lobby confrontation that made neither man look better afterward.
The beginning of the saga came when, after exchanging initial blows during a UFC event in Mexico City, Rodriguez raked his left hand over the eyes of Stephens. Referee Herb Dean immediately paused the fight after seeing Stephens’ reaction.
Stephens was unable to open his left eye for five minutes as a cageside doctor attended to him, and Dean eventually called the fight a no-contest.
The Mexico City crowd was predictably livid with the decision, hurling garbage at Stephens as he exited the arena.
Jeremy Stephens wants a rematch
Rodriguez has since publicly doubted the severity of Stephens’ injury. Stephens has maintained he was not able to open the eye until he was in the hospital, but has since recovered and sustained no permanent damage, per MMA Fighting.
Stephens also said he’d be up for a rematch with Rodriguez, and he made that perfectly clear during a confrontation in a hotel lobby on Sunday.
Warning: The video below contains very graphic language.
It’s hard to make out every word of what is being said by the chest-to-chest fighters, but the important parts are clear.
“F--king p---y, bro. You’re gonna have to live with that for the rest of your f---ing life, p----. It’s not me, I’m fine motherf---er,” Rodriguez said.
“Let’s run it back,” Stephens said.
“Run it back? How about yesterday, you f---ing p----,” Rodriguez said.
“You poked me in the eye, f----t. You poked me in the f---ing eye,” Stephens said.
Rodriguez can be heard repeating the slur back to Stephens.
“I’ll see you soon motherf---er. Trust me. I’ll see you soon, let’s do it,” Stephens said as the exchange ended.
Per ESPN, Rodriguez said the hostility began when he asked Stephens how the eye was. When Stephens reportedly said it was fine, Rodriguez questioned what happened in the fight.
Rodriguez — who, remember, caused all of this with an illegal eye poke that could have gotten him disqualified rather than a no-contest — also said he will apologize in public for doubting the severity of Stephens’ injury if his former opponent will take him to a doctor and show him results of his eye exams.
Clearly, this situation is transitioning from “hurling garbage” ugly to “personal animus” ugly. Stephens wants a chance to redeem one of the more disappointing UFC fights in recent memory. We’ll see if Rodriguez acquiesces.
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