Former UFC champ Frankie Edgar gets a lot of love here in New York City (we don’t hate New Jersey folk – especially when they can fight). So it’s only fitting that he fight here at Madison Square Garden, and against an opponent who’s dangerous… but not that dangerous. Jeremy Stephen is obviously an explosive fighter capable of knockouts, but come on, we’re talking about a stud wrestler who’s boxing and footwork puts him among the elite.
Edgar starts shooting for takedowns and Stephens defends them, and the crowd begins chanting “Who the fuck is that guy? Who the fuck is that guy?” Then Edgar cracks Stephens in the face with a right and the chant becomes “Let’s go, Frankie!” The former champ starts lifting his opponent up and dumping him down, and Stephens is up instantly. Edgar is having trouble with Stephens’ size and physicality, and is way too wary of his power. The horn sounds with them circling each other.
Round 2 has Edgar getting a solid hold on Stephens and totally tossing him to the ground, but again, Stephens just gets up and it’s like Edgar is a mere blanket. Then Stephens drops Edgar with a kick, and the crowd explodes as the New Jersey native goes into survival mode. And survive he does, scoring a takedown (the crowd is deafening), threatening with guillotines, and dropping fists and elbows from above.
It takes about 40 seconds into Round 3 for Stephens to throw a kick and Edgar to turn it into a takedown, and Stephens’ reply is a kimura attempt. Edgar escapes, nearly takes his back, and threatens a couple rear naked chokes, but Stephens finally manages to get up again, where he goes back to hunting for that knockout. It doesn’t come, and the latter portion of the round is spent with Stephens throwing heavy and Edgar trying to stick and move.
Results: Frankie Edgar def. Jeremy Stephens via Unanimous Decision