(This post originally appeared on MMAFrenzy.)
Jeremy Stephens has nothing against Max Holloway, in fact, it sounds like he considers the featherweight champ a friend. But none of that will prevent “Lil’ Heathen” from destroying the star, if they fight again.
Stephens is preparing to take on Jose Aldo tomorrow night at UFC on FOX 30, which will go down in Calgary, Alberta. Since Stephens has won three straight, if he can take out the legendary Aldo, he’ll have a strong case for a title shot. That said, the featherweight championship picture is somewhat unclear right now, following Holloway’s withdrawal from UFC 226. The champ was supposed to fight Brian Ortega at the event, but had to drop out due to concussion like symptoms.
Well, at the UFC on FOX 30 media day, Stephens was asked to comment on Holloway’s situation, and here’s some of what the dangerous fighter had to say (quote via MMA Junkie):
“I actually flew the kid out a long time ago when I was fighting (Anthony) Pettis, and I have a relationship with that guy,” Stephens said. “I ended up fighting him, and it was just weird all in a sense. I actually care about the kid, I like the kid…
“Health-wise, I feel for him. I definitely think about that stuff because this is a very violent sport. That type of injury – everyone is just calling out what they think happened. No one really knows, but they know it ain’t good. That’s not cool.”
“If we go to fight again, I’m going to cut off everything and go to my alter-ego and go kill him”
How about that? Now, of course, several things have to fall into place before Stephens faces Holloway again, anytime soon. One: Stephens needs to get by the former champ, Aldo tomorrow. Two: if Holloway does stay at 145, then he’ll need to successfully defend the belt against Ortega, as the UFC will almost certainly move forward with that fight when the champ’s ready to go. But, if Holloway – Ortega doesn’t happen until later this year, you never know, the UFC might call on Stephens to fight again in the interim.
Stephens faced Holloway back in 2015, and lost via unanimous decision.