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UFC lightweight Jeremy Stephens pleads guilty to misdemeanor, felony charges dropped for assault and burglary

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Jeremy Stephens avoids hard time after prosecutors dropped felony charges against him for assault and burglary.

Richard Wolowicz

Case closed.

Embattled Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight Jeremy Stephens has been able to close the book on a messy legal situation that has haunted him for nearly two years, pleading guilty to one count of misdemeanor disorderly conduct (satisfied by time already served), while having felony assault and burglary charges dropped.

MMA Fighting brought word of the update earlier today.

"Lil' Heathen" was arrested at his hotel last October (mugshot), just hours before his scheduled fight against Yves Edwards at the UFC on FX 5: "Browne vs. Silva" event from the Target Center in Minneapolis. Stephens was picked up for an outstanding warrant stemming from a 2011 melee in Iowa.

He was accused of nearly beating a man to death.

Stephens maintained his innocence throughout the proceedings, and even drew the unwavering support of UFC President Dana White, who recently locked up the 145-pound slugger for another four fights, one of which he already served with a unanimous decision win over Estevan Payan at UFC 160 last May.

His victory over "El Terrible" snapped a three-fight losing streak.

Now that he's back in the win column, both inside the Octagon as well as inside the courtroom, "Lil' Heathen" can get back to the business of hurting people -- legally -- as part of the world's largest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion. But who would you like to see him fight next?

Thoughts?