UFC News: Jeremy Stephens gets handed a six-month suspension for the eye poke, will need a doctor’s clearance for an immediate rematch with Yair Rodriguez
With the much-awaited bout between Jeremy Stephens and Yair Rodriguez ending before it could properly begin, the question that was on everyone’s mind was how long they would have to wait before the rematch can be scheduled.
After an accidental arm wave from Rodriguez hit Stephens in the eye within the first 15 seconds of the fight, the latter could not open his eyes even after the five-minute hiatus given as per the UFC rules. Stephens had to eventually leave the Octagon in sunglasses and later appeared with his eye heavily bandaged.
Although he was later seen at Ariel Helwani's show without any bandage, Stephens was issued a medical suspension by the authorities.
MMA Fighting reported on the matter.
Six-month layoff for Stephens
Since Mexico is not a country where MMA is regulated, UFC stood in as a de-facto athletic commission in the UFC Fight Night 159 event at Mexico City. According to the list of medical suspensions released, Jeremy Stephens got issued a six-month layoff, as his reports mentioned a corneal abrasion or a superficial scratch on the surface of his eye.
However, with a clearance from an ophthalmologist, he can get back to the Octagon before the six months are over and also make sure he is ready for a rematch with Rodriguez if it comes to that.
Things have not been quite smooth between the two fighters since the bout was called off, as Rodriguez pointed out he himself had previously fought with a bad eye in a contest against Frankie Edgar. The two were also involved in a heated exchange of words at the hotel they are staying.
Other notable medical suspensions
Stephens was not the only one to get a half-year suspension after the Mexico event. Carla Esparza for right elbow and nasal injury, Irene Aldana also for nasal issues, Marco Polo Reyes for TKO and Ariane Carnelossi for left brow laceration and nasal injury once again, all got 180-days suspensions, unless cleared by respective doctors.
Martin Bravo is under a two-month layoff for KO, despite his CT scan coming negative. Many others got 30 days for hard bouts.