Jeremy Stephens has seen a lot in his 13 year fight career.
As a UFC veteran with more than 25 bouts on his record with the promotion, Stephens has felt the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. He’s faced some of the best competition the UFC has to offer and he’s served up more than his fair share of highlight reel finishes.
Stephens has earned eight post fight bonuses and he’s been a part of three main events during his tenure with the UFC.
Now pointing out all those accomplishments isn’t just meant to tout Stephens’ resume but rather to notate all that he’s done in his career versus his upcoming opponent Josh Emmett, who he faces in the headline fight at UFC on FOX 28.
While Stephens has all that past experience, Emmett is just now preparing for his first main event, his sixth fight in the UFC and only his 15th career bout. Long before he joined the UFC, Emmett was a mainstay at Team Alpha Male in Sacramento — a gym responsible for several UFC and WEC champions as well as a slew of title contenders over the years.
In fact, Emmett served as key training partner for several of his teammates when they were getting ready for title fights so he had to go from emulating Jose Aldo one day to Dominick Cruz the next. That all added up to a lot of tools being added to Emmett’s arsenal but Stephens says carrying a lot of weapons around doesn’t mean he knows how to use them when he’s hip deep in the middle of a war.
“He’s been in the gym getting these guys ready. He hasn’t actually been out there on the battlefield like a true general getting that experience,” Stephens said when speaking to MMAWeekly. “He’ll be well prepared and he’ll be in great shape but he doesn’t have what I have. He’s going to find that out very soon.
“I’m not a competitor. I don’t score points. I’m in there to take you out. I will break him.”
Stephens is clear to point out the distinction between his style and what Emmett will bring into the Octagon when they meet on Saturday night.
Make no mistake, Stephens knows that Emmett packs a serious punch, he possesses a strong wrestling game and he didn’t earn this main event slot by accident but rather through achievement when he knocked out former title contender Ricardo Lamas back in December 2017.
Still, Stephens can’t see anything in Emmett’s background that tells him that the first time UFC main eventer is truly going to be ready for what he’s about to endure on Saturday night.
Emmett is a tremendous athlete but Stephens says this time around he’s facing a real fighter.
“I’m not a competitor. I’m a vicious fighter. I’m a savage killer who wants to take you out, who wants to finish you,” Stephens said. “That’s the difference between me and these guys. I have the edge in the will to win that these guys just don’t understand. They can look at my rap sheet all they want but they don’t understand what’s in my mindset and my experience that I had fighting nothing but warriors at 155 and 145 [pounds].
For as much as Stephens likes explaining what separates him from every other athlete on the UFC roster, the truth is he’s not big on predictions or making bold proclamations about knockouts while trying to call his shot on when it will happen.
Instead, Stephens plans on showing Emmett what it’s like to be in a battle when they exchange punches for the first time on Saturday night.
“I’m willing to go in there and step up and take advantage and lay it all on the line,” Stephens said. “I’m a different breed. He’s going to find that out very soon when we get in there.”