UFC lightweight Jeremy Stephens was expected to compete last Friday at UFC on FX 5, but instead spent the day and night in jail.
Stephens was arrested on a warrant for assault in his home state of Iowa, and despite grand efforts from UFC president Dana White to get Stephens released in time for the show, he was held without bail awaiting extradition from Minnesota to Iowa to face the charges.
According to the fighter's managers at EVO Agents, the entire situation confused everybody involved, most notably Jeremy Stephens.
His management company released a statement regarding the arrest on Monday stating that the situation stems from a party the fighter hosted in his home state of Iowa in 2011, and while there was a physical altercation that night, Stephens was not the one involved.
“In 2011, Jeremy was attending a homecoming party in Des Moines, Iowa. A person in attendance became intoxicated and disorderly, and was asked to leave by the owner of the establishment. The intoxicated individual subsequently became involved in a physical altercation with another person at the event. We have learned that, as the featured guest at the party, Jeremy’s name came up during the police investigation of the assault,” read the statement.
“Prior to being detained the morning of October 5, 2012, in Minneapolis, Jeremy had never been arrested in connection with the assault, contacted about any possible charge and or notified about any outstanding warrant by mail or any other means. Jeremy has lived at the same residence in San Diego and has maintained the same phone number for the past year or more. Jeremy also uses social media to provide updates on his training and to thank fans, supporters, sponsors, and the UFC. In short, Jeremy is not a hard guy to find, which can be seen at www.LilHeathenMMA.com.”
The statement goes on to say that Stephens was obviously not hiding from authorities in any way shape or form, but promises there's nothing to hide and he will be dealing with these charges as soon as possible.
“At this time, we do not know why Polk County (Iowa) authorities waited to have a warrant served on Jeremy until the morning of his fight. He arrived in Minnesota four days earlier, stayed at the hotel with other fighters for the event, and attended the public weigh-in on Thursday afternoon. Because he was arrested so close to the time of the fight, arrangements for his release could not be made in time for him to compete despite the diligent efforts of the UFC. Minnesota state officials were great to deal with, but Polk County kept changing the deal, making it impossible to get Jeremy released.
“It will take some time for this unfortunate situation to be resolved. We ask that everyone be patient and wait for the truth to come out. We also would like to thank Jeremy’s fans who are standing by him during this tough time and especially Dana White and the staff at UFC for their incredible display of support for Jeremy throughout the ordeal. There is nothing to hide, so we will keep everyone updated as things progress.”
As of today, Stephens is still listed in custody by the Minneapolis Police Department as he awaits word on dealing with the Iowa police on this matter.
MMAWeekly.com will have more information on Stephens' status as it becomes available.