Jeremy Stephens scored a second round knockout victory over Josh Emmett in the main event of UFC On Fox 28.
The win did come with its fair share of controversy, as instant replays showed that Stephens nailed Emmett with illegal elbow strikes and a knee strike during the finish sequence. Emmett has since announced that he plans on filing an appeal to the Florida State Boxing Commission (FSBC), which could overturn the fight result to a no contest.
Stephens did comment on the controversy afterwards, even saying that referee Dan Miragliotta said the supposed illegal strikes where legal.
“The referee, Dan Miragliotta, came in the back, he said, ‘This is the new unified rules, that if two hands are down, you can lift one hand up [and be able] to knee. That’s okay.’ So if he’s on his knees and one hand is up, it’s okay to throw a knee,” Stephens said on the UFC On Fox 28 post-fight show. “I’m not a dirty fighter. I never have been, my whole life. I saw an opportunity, I was looking for it. I saw exactly what he was going to do. I knew that he was rocked, he had two hands [on the ground], he lifted his hand up and I saw the moment and that’s when I threw the knee. I don’t think the knee even landed, it’s not what hurt him. There was a lot more damage followed up after that. He was even rocked before that. But he did lift his hands and I waited for that hand, and I tried to take advantage of that opportunity. It didn’t land, I missed, but those are the rules in this specific state. I’m not a dirty fighter.”
Emmett is a part of Team Alpha Male out of California and retired UFC fighter Urijah Faber is the head of that group.
Faber didn’t comment much on the controversial ending to the fight, but on analysts Michael Bisping and Dominick Cruz downplaying the moment after the event.
It was through Instagram that Faber made his feelings known:
Here is a translation of what Faber said, provided by MMA Fighting:
“Dominick Cruz and Michael Bisping are f**king blind. That was a knee to the back of the head. It took a knee to the back of the — an illegal knee to the illegal back of the head. Gimme a friggin’ break. Congratulations to Stephens, he fought a good one.”
There is no word yet on when the FSBC will hear the appeal from Emmett, as the commission doesn’t have their next meeting scheduled at this time.