Earlier today, (October 5, 2012) an unusual story broke when it was revealed that Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight Jeremy Stephens was arrested just before his scheduled fight at UFC on FX 5, leaving Yves Edwards without an opponent.
Speculation immediately swirled that the fight would be canceled, but UFC President Dana White aggressively countered that the bout was still on even though "Lil Heathen" was still sitting in jail at the conclusion of the "Prelims" bouts on FUEL TV (he was scheduled to fight Edwards on the "Prelims" under card).
However, the FX telecast came and went and Stephens never appeared.
White took to The Underground to explain his curious defiance, which was apparently fueled in large part by a 12-hour negotiation with authorities that never amounted to anything.
Here is what he said:
"So here's the deal. I have been working since 11am to get him [Stephens] out of jail. the people in Iowa hate this kid and are going to stick it to him for SURE. Everytime I would cut a deal for bail they would change the deal and I was willing to do anything. They kept changing the deal thinking I would tapout and when I didn't they left me hangin changing it every 5 mins. People at Minn Sheriffs Dept were amazing and I wNt to thank them. He has been in town since Monday and they arrested him Friday at 11am for a reason to really fuck him. I literally just told Yves he wasn't fighting 35 mins ago. He is a TRUE OLD SCHOOL PRO who waited all night for us to try and get Jeremy here!!!!! It is a pleasure being in biz with u Yves. So I wanted u the fans to hear it from me first."
So, apparently, a ton of Iowans have a bone to pick with Stephens and they just so happened to choose today to "stick it to him." The actual facts behind Stephens' arrest are still murky, but it appears he has been detained on an assault charge that dates back to 2011.
White believes Stephens was arrested today to mess up his fight and that he is in "big trouble." In fact, White suggested at the UFC on FX 5 post-fight press conference, Stephens might not be able to leave Iowa "for two years."
Perhaps that's part of the reason White was working so hard to hammer out a deal with the authorities with jurisdiction, which, according to him, changed the deal over and over. He even claimed that he asked to have Stephens escorted to the Octagon with two local police officers who would watch him fight and then take him back to the precinct.
If that doesn't reek of desperation, not really sure what does.
There's undoubtably more to come in this story, and MMAmania.com will have keep you up-to-date with all the updates.