The fallout from last Saturday night’s (Feb. 24, 2018) controversial finish in the headlining bout of UFC on FOX 28 in Orlando, Fla., is still going strong. In the main event of the evening, Jeremy Stephens scored a knockout win over Josh Emmett in the second round (see it again here).
Prior to “Lil’ Heathen” landing the finishing elbows to the face of Josh, Stephens apparently clipped his downed foe with an illegal knee to the head. Once his opponent was dazed, Stephens proceeded to storm in with some vicious ground-and-pound which included two apparent illegal elbows to the back of the head.
“I’m not saying he’s a dirty fighter at all. But after watching it, I just wish I had more of a fair chance, you know? I wish Dan would have done his job. If he would have stopped the fight, I could’ve had a little time to recover or maybe took a point away from Stephens it could’ve been a completely different outcome. He is saying he didn’t see it. I watched the clip, Urijah (Faber) sent me a picture and it shows the knee connecting on my head and you can see Dan looking right at it. I just don’t get the whole, how he couldn’t see it. This has happened in the past, with UFC 210 with Weidman and Mousasi. That was a legal blow and he stopped the fight, but then this was an illegal blow and he didn’t stop it. I just wish I had a fair chance and it could've been a different outcome.”
Regarding the two elbows to the back of the head, Emmett says they were definitely illegal. As for what’s next, Emmett’s team over at Team Alpha Male plans to appeal the loss, and Josh himself hopes to score a rematch with Stephens sooner rather than later. That will be tough to come by, as “Lil Heathen” is eyeing a shot at the 145-pound title following his second straight knockout victory.
Still, it wouldn’t be too farfetched to believe Stephens would like to get rid of the cloud hanging over his win with a do-over against Emmett. If not, then maybe it’s in Josh’s best interest to sniff around this bush in hopes of finding a scrap.