#Bellator 194 #Roy Nelson #Matt Mitrione #Conor McGregor #UFC 221 #Brandon Rios #UFC Fight Night 125 #Donald Cerrone #Yancy Medeiros #Yoel Romero

Jeremy Stephens postponed his wedding to fight Gilbert Melendez at UFC 215

EDMONTON – UFC featherweight Jeremy Stephens had a date, and it wasn’t with Gilbert Melendez.

Stephens (25-14 MMA, 12-13 UFC) and longtime fiancee Cindy Lopez were supposed to get married Sept. 23 in his native Des Moines, Ia. Then Melendez (22-6 MMA, 1-4 UFC) came on his radar, and the idea of tying the knot two weeks after a fist fight seemed less appealing.

So the happy couple postponed, which is perhaps why Stephens hopes to make Melendez’s first night as a featherweight a miserable one.

“He’s an older lion. He’s been in too many wars,” Stephens told MMAjunkie on Wednesday in advance of his meeting Saturday with the one-time title challenger at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. “He hasn’t really changed and evolved in the sport.

“Now, he’s looking for other reasons coming down here after a long layoff of (performance-enhancing drug) use. He’s come down here to 145 pounds. It’s a big mistake, especially if you’re facing me.”

For the record, Melendez fought once after a failed drug test led to a one-year suspension. But when he makes his octagon walk for the pay-per-view opener on Saturday, it will have been 13 months since he last fought. A decision loss to Edson Barboza marked his fourth defeat in five previous fights, undoubtedly motivating his drop to the featherweight division.

Stephens made the same decision after a trio of losses in the lightweight division, where he’s fought the majority of his UFC career. Saturday’s fight will be his 26th octagon appearance, an impressive mark of his longevity.

Stephens questions why Melendez would even drop a weight class at this point in his career. But he expects Melendez to try and wrestle away from his power punches, which have a tendency to change longtime patterns in his opponents.

“Everybody fights me different,” Stephens said. “Max Holloway fought me different. Renato Moicano fought a different fight. They basically game plan against me, and their only option is to run. It’s not like I’m getting knocked out by Jose Aldo.”

Now back with famed coach Eric DelFierro, Stephens feels confident he’s made the adjustments needed to put away Melendez.

Then, he’ll make a walk of another kind.

“I have a great fiancee,” Stephens said. “Not only is she beautiful, she has an amazing heart. She understands this is what I do, and this what I love. These opportunities aren’t going to be knocking 15 years from now.”

For more on UFC 215, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.


Jeremy Stephens Fights

  • a month ago


Show Comments

Related News

If he beats Tony Ferguson, Khabib Nurmagomedov plans to make Conor McGregor wait

  • 19 days ago

If Khabib Nurmagomedov beats Tony Ferguson at UFC 223, he’ll make Conor McGregor wait for a crack at his belt. read news >>

Yoel Romero to make interim title history at UFC 221 with a rare twist

  • 11 days ago

We’ve seen a sharp increase in the number of UFC interim title fights recently, and Yoel Romero has been a beneficiary. read news >>

Report: Mike Pyle returns against Zak Ottow at UFC 222

  • 11 days ago

After an extended layoff, veteran welterweight Mike Pyle is slated to return to the octagon at UFC 222. read news >>

Curtis Millender 'cried like a baby,' scared his kids to death when UFC finally called

  • 12 days ago

After finally making it to the UFC, Curtis Millender hopes a Thiago Alves win is his ticket to stay. read news >>

So you're realizing that CM Punk is probably going to fight at UFC 225: Five steps to total acceptance

  • 12 days ago

CM Punk seems like a perfect fit for UFC 225 – until you remember how his first fight went. But you can still find your way to acceptance. read news >>

John Dodson vs. Pedro Munhoz Rescheduled for UFC 222 | MMAWeekly.com

  • 11 days ago

If at first you don’t succeed… Following a cancelled fight this past weekend at UFC Fight Night in Brazil, John Dodson and Pedro Munhoz have been rescheduled to meet at UFC 222 in Las Vegas on March read news >>

Yushin Okami drops two divisions to welterweight, meets Dhiego Lima at UFC on FOX 29

  • 12 days ago

A welterweight bout between Dhiego Lima and Yushin Okami is the latest addition to April’s UFC on FOX 29 lineup. read news >>

John Dodson vs. Pedro Munhoz rebooked for UFC 222 in Las Vegas

  • 11 days ago

John Dodson and Pedro Munhoz will give it another go at UFC 222. read news >>

Ashlee Evans-Smith drops to flyweight, meets Bec Rawlings at UFC 223

  • 14 days ago

A women’s flyweight bout between Ashlee Evans-Smith and Bec Rawlings is the latest addition to April’s UFC 223 lineup. read news >>

Valentina Shevchenko Heaps Praise on Overmatched Opponent Takes Aim at UFC Title | MMAWeekly.com

  • 14 days ago

After a dominant performance in her flyweight debut in the UFC Fight Night 125 co-main event, Paul Felder chatted with Valentina Shevchenko inside the Octagon. read news >>