UFC on FOX News: Jeremy Stephens beats Josh Emmett with second round knockout
What's the story?
Jeremy "Lil Heathen" Stephens secured victory with a vicious knockout of Josh Emmett in the second round, thus moving a step closer to the all-important Featherweight championship.
The fight was a tough one for Stephens, having been dropped in the first round. However, he managed to recover accordingly and after catching the 32-year-old with a clean left, finished him on the ground with a barrage of elbows to secure his 14th UFC win.
In case you didn't know…
Coming into this main event contest, both fighters were in top form. A brutal knockout victory over Ricardo Lamas was an impressive one for Emmett going into this, while Stephens won by TKO after two rounds against Doo Ho Choi during his most recent bout in mid-January.
The heart of the matter
Considering the featherweight division is heavily stacked, this encounter was a big one. In the first round, Emmett dropped Stephens with a clean shot but was unable to get the finish.
Somehow, Stephens managed to recover and battle hard through the remainder of the first round - before drawing Emmett deeper to get the victory in the following five minutes. However, there was plenty of post-fight speculation regarding whether Stephens had used an illegal move, using a knee kick to Emmett while he was down.
According to referee Dan Miragliotta though, the knee missed Emmett's head and was therefore not deemed illegal nor enough to punish the 31-year-old. Emmett's corner were understandably furious, believing their guy was left shortchanged by an illegal knee which arguably changed the complexity of this fight's outcome.
After his win over Emmett, Jeremy emphatically declared himself as the world's hardest hitting featherweight. During the post-fight interview, he was quoted saying the following:
"Now we know who the hardest-hitting 145er is, baby. No disrespect - Josh Emmett put me down on my butt, I had to get my wits back. But you can't break me... give me my title shot! There are only three guys in-front of me."
That was certainly one fun fight to watch, as both fighters went at one another from the start of round one. The victory cements Jeremy's position in the featherweight rankings, but it's entirely possible that he'll need one more fight to go before earning the title shot he longs for.
We'll have to wait and see, as there are many interesting bouts coming up in the featherweight division over the coming months.