Jeremy Stephens and Yair Rodriguez were expected to deliver a hard-hitting featherweight main event in the UFC Mexico City headliner last month on ESPN+. Instead, the bout was waved off — via “No Contest” — after “Lil’ Heathen” was poked in the eye and unable to continue fighting.
The promotion wasted no time in rebooking their 145-pound do-over for the UFC on ESPN 6 co-main event, which takes place this Friday night (Oct. 18, 2019) inside TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts, live on ESPN2.
And just in case you didn’t think this was personal ...
“I’m gonna kill this kid,” Stephens said at the UFC Boston open workouts. “If he don’t die, it don’t count. That’s what I’m thinking. It’s always personal when you fight, this kid’s trying to take money off my kid’s table. What if I was coming into your house, taking food off your table and smacking your kid? That’s the way I look at it. Personal? Fuck yeah, it’s personal. It’s a fight. You only get one check if you lose, you think this is a game? You think this is a sport? It’s not a sport, it’s fist fighting bro. I’m fighting for my blood, I’m fighting for my family every time I step in there.”
Stephens (28-16, 1 NC) is trying to snap a two-fight losing streak after racking up three consecutive victories between 2017-18. Despite his inconsistency, “Lil’ Heathen” remains a dangerous striker with one-punch knockout power, having already stopped 19 opponents by way of strikes.
Rodriguez (11-2) is trying to build on his thrilling, last-second knockout win over Chan Sung Jung at UFC Denver in late 2018. “Pantera” is 7-1 under the UFC banner with three knockouts, with his only loss coming to featherweight title contender, Frankie Edgar, roughly two years back.
To see the entire UFC Boston fight card and line up click here.
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