Lil’ Heathen- Jeremy Stephens ruins Renan Barao in dominating win

The big question entering the co-main event was how the size difference would effect Barao. The first round consisted of both men having their moments in the exchanges making it a very close round to judge. The tone of the fight changed in the second round as Stephens’ size and power came into play. He caught Barao with several huge punches that rocked the former bantamweight kingpin. Barao ate the shots, but certainly felt the effects. Stephens came from different angles with big power punches. Barao survived and ended the round by scoring a takedown.

In between the second and third rounds, Stephens’ corner told him to throw combinations. Barao seemed to regain his composure and went back to what worked in the first round. He avoided the big sweeping counters from Stephens, but was still getting hit from time to time.

They smiled at each other with 2:30 remaining in the final round. Shortly after, Barao changed levels on a takedown attempt, and put Stephens on his butt. To the delight of the fans, Stephens worked his way back up with 90 seconds remaining in the fight. The two talented fighters scrapped their way to the bell in a fun encounter.

Stephens re-enters the fray of the upper echelon at featherweight. Big featherweight tilts are on the horizon in the coming months, and following his UFC Fight Night 88 showing, Stephens will be a very interested onlooker for those coming events. “Lil’ Heathen” is back in the mix.


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