Released from Jail, UFC Lightweight Jeremy Stephens Reiterates Innocence in Alleged Assault


After spending 12 days incarcerated, Jeremy Stephens was released Wednesday from Polk County Jail in Des Moines, Iowa.

Stephens announced the news on his official website, and the online records of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the lightweight’s release.

The fighter was arrested on the morning of Oct. 5 in Minneapolis -- just hours prior to his UFC on FX 5 clash with Yves Edwards -- due to an outstanding felony warrant issued in his home state of Iowa. Though the UFC attempted to post bail for Stephens so that he could compete that night, the efforts proved unsuccessful and the contest was canceled.

The charges filed against Stephens stem from an alleged 2011 assault outside of a Des Moines bar that ended with a man reportedly hospitalized. Stephens maintains his innocence in the matter.

“Jeremy’s legal team is already hard at work to prove what many already know; he is not guilty of the crimes he’s been accused of,” reads the official statement on Stephens’ website. “We ask that everyone respect Jeremy’s privacy throughout this case.

“While Jeremy’s employer (UFC), his family, friends and loyal fans have stood behind him, certainly the recent events have garnered some negative media attention. Jeremy felt it was very important to thank each and every one of those [people] who have stood by his side during this tough time. He wanted everyone to know that despite the negative situation that he’s been placed in, he has remained upbeat and positive, reflecting on the opportunities that have been and will be presented to him, reflecting on his family, and his firm [belief] in his innocence.”

Stephens’ management could not be reached for comment regarding when the fighter is expected for his first court hearing.

Stephens, 26, has stumbled in each of his last two in-cage appearances, falling to Anthony Pettis last year before kicking off 2012 with a May 15 defeat to Donald Cerrone at UFC on Fuel TV 3. The losses followed a successful stretch for “Lil’ Heathen,” who posted four victories in five fights from September 2009 to June 2011. Known for his considerable punching power, Stephens owns 14 of his 20 career wins via some form of knockout.

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