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The best and worst from UFC on Fox 28

Scott Newman
Top 5 / Top 10
864   //    25 Feb 2018, 20:50 IST

Jeremy Stephens picked up a violent knockout win last night
Jeremy Stephens picked up a violent knockout win last night

UFC on Fox 28 was considered by many – on paper at least – to be the weakest card the promotion had put on ‘big’ Fox since the TV deal began back in 2012. I actually felt it was stronger than January’s effort (Jacare vs. Brunson) but it certainly wasn’t a deep card.

Thankfully the fights delivered hugely, as we got a wild night of action capped off with one of the best women’s fights in recent memory and then a vicious knockout in the main event. Much like last week’s Cowboy vs. Medeiros Fight Night, it was a show low on name value but high on in-cage action. Here are the best and worst moments from UFC on Fox 28.

#1 Best: Is Jeremy Stephens a legit title contender?

Jeremy Stephens has spent over a decade in the UFC – rare for most fighters – and for good reason, as he’s one of the most reliable action fighters on the roster. Win or lose, ‘Lil Heathen’ usually guarantees an entertaining fight. Thankfully for him, recently he’s been winning far more than he’s been losing, and last night saw him violently knock out up-and-comer Josh Emmett despite being dropped in the first round himself.

His knockout victory last night came just under six weeks after his previous one – over the vaunted prospect, Doo Ho Choi in January – and those two wins follow a victory over former Strikeforce Lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez last December. While Stephens did lose two in a row before that – to Frankie Edgar and Renato Moicano – he seems much improved now, using a far more nuanced striking game to replace his wilder, more unpolished previous form.

Will the win last night be enough to net him a title shot? I personally don’t think so as the winner of the upcoming Edgar/Ortega fight should probably face champ Max Holloway next. But it’s certainly enough to make Stephens into a legitimate title contender, and he should be given a big fight next in order to confirm that status. Stephens vs. Jose Aldo, anyone?

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