There were 10 fights that took place Friday at “UFC on FX: Browne vs. Bigfoot,” yet it was the bout that didn’t go down that is hoarding all the MMA headlines.
Just hours before the curtain was drawn on the Octagon’s return to Minnesota, lightweight Jeremy Stephens (Pictured) was arrested by the Minneapolis Police Department for outstanding warrants stemming from a 2011 incident in Iowa where the 26-year-old was charged with assault.
Despite the fact he was locked up in a jail cell for most of the day, UFC president Dana White was adamant Stephens would keep his appointment with Yves Edwards. White even took the time to blast the media for reporting the fight was canceled, despite the fact UFC.com had removed the bout from the show’s lineup prior to showtime.
Even as the show was halfway through and Stephens was still behind bars, White refused to rule him out of the scrap.
The UFC ultimately weren’t able to post bail in time, and White believes it’s because Stephens’ hometown police department has it in for him.
“What happened is they do not like [Stephens] in Des Moines, Iowa where this warrant is from,” White revealed at the post-fight press conference. “Basically, they’re going to extradite him, or not, we’ll see what happens with this whole thing, but the kid’s been here since Monday. There was no secret that he was going to be here.
“They arrest him at almost noontime on Friday after he weighs in yesterday and everything else. In my opinion, after dealing with this all day, that was done on purpose.”
White was convinced the department was hell-bent on nailing Stephens after they continued to alter and delay his release.
“I cut the deal with the people down in Des Moines, Iowa to get him out,” White added. “Done deal, we cut the deal, I agree to it, we’re going to get him out. They change the deal. Okay, well I accept that deal, too. They changed the deal. Every time they would lay out a new deal, I would accept it and they would change it. They kept trying to make it harder and harder and harder and harder.
“So they finally get to a deal with me for an astronomical amount of money to bail him out and I agree to it and then they did it again. So they’re going to stick it to this kid big time when he gets down to Iowa. They don’t like him, they’re going to stick it to him, and they run me out all day playing games with me. People have gone on three-state killing sprees and get freaking bailed out of jail. This kid’s got an assault charge in Des Moines, Iowa and he’s not going to have fun when he gets there because they got it out for this kid big time.”
While White acknowledged Stephens isn’t completely innocent, he says he always sticks by all of his guys until they prove they aren’t worthy of his support. Nonetheless, based on White’s frantic Friday, he doesn’t believe things are going to get better for Stephens anytime soon.
“Jeremy’s in a whole other world of trouble,” White expressed. “That guy might be in Des Moines, Iowa for the next two years. I’m telling you, I’ve never seen a situation where a guy couldn’t get out on bail for an assault charge. He didn’t kill three people, he didn’t murder 20 people in three states, he’s not wanted for any horrible crimes, it’s an assault charge.
“He’s in big trouble, so I don’t know what’s going to happen to Jeremy.”