Jeremy Stephens: “Renan Barao is mentally broken”

The UFC will be in Las Vegas for Memorial Day weekend, with a special Sunday event on May 29 to be aired live on FOX Sports 1 from the Mandalay Bay Events Center. In the UFC Fight Night co-main event, former UFC bantamweight king Renan Barao makes his move to featherweight to face veteran knockout artist Jeremy “Lil’ Heathen” Stephens.

Jeremy Stephens is no stranger to welcoming fighters to a new weight class.

He did it five years ago when the now-retired Marcus Davis wanted to try his hand at lightweight. Davis got knocked out in the first round and subsequently was released from the UFC.

Ex-bantamweight champ Renan Barao’s career doesn’t hang in the balance. But a loss to Stephens definitely wouldn’t bode well for his long-term career prospects.

Stephens thinks Barao (33-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC) is already on the decline and simply has to apply downward pressure to come out victorious when they meet at UFC Fight Night 88 on May 29.

“I think it’s a man who’s mentally broke,” Stephens said on a recent media tour. “Barao coming up (to featherweight) fighting me, a knockout artist, he’s been knocked out twice by a littler guy, who doesn’t hit nowhere as hard as me.

“It’s going to be a great night. I’m going to go in there and knock him out and give the fans what they want.”

Barao returns to the cage for the first time since a failed bid to win back the UFC bantamweight title against now ex-champ T.J. Dillashaw this past July. The Brazilian fighter was knocked out by Dillashaw in May 2014 and then was removed from a rematch three months later when he suffered complications from a weight cut.

Stephens thinks he’s going to send Barao packing.

More on Jeremy Stephens by following him on social media at the following:
Instagram: @LilHeathenMMA
Twitter: @LilHeathenMMA

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