Jeremy Stephens is on the hottest streak of his career less than a couple of years after many considered him Conor McGregor's laughing stock.
At UFC Orlando, Stephens (28-14) overcame a first round knockdown from opponent #4 Josh Emmett and managed to survive the first round. The two danced around the Octagon during the first five minutes, respecting one another's power, knowing a big shot was coming.
In round two, #8 Stephens was able to clip Emmett with a big left that spelled the end. However, Emmett turned into a couple of elbow strikes, which ended up being illegal blows that went uncalled. Stephens also threw an illegal knee that didn't get called and was the subject of intense debate between analysts Daniel Cormier and Cruz. It's worth noting that Cruz is a teammate of Stephens as well. When asked if he was concerned if people thought he was a dirty fighter, Stephens said "As of tomorrow the money will hit my bank account. I am not worried."
When interviewed inside the cage after the win, Stephens would reference his war of words with McGregor, again declaring himself the hardest hitting 145-pound fighter. He'd also plead with UFC brass for a championship opportunity, noting that he had a 'hit list.'
In an even weirder twist, Florida's athletic commission released the scorecards for the fight with the second round actually scored -- two 10-8 rounds per Mike Chiappetta -- even though the fight ended before the round did.