UFC on ESPN+ 17 crowd gets ugly following Yair Rodriguez vs. Jeremy Stephens no contest

September 22, 2019

The scene at UFC on ESPN+ 17 turned ugly on Saturday in Mexico City following a no contest decision in the night’s main event. 

Almost as soon as the headlining bout between Yair Rodriguez and Jeremy Stephens got underway, it was over. The two engaged briefly for a couple of moments, but 15 seconds into the fight, Rodriguez swiped a hand down Stephens’s face. As his hand went out, his fingers went into Stephens’s eye causing referee Herb Dean to call a break in the action.

Stephens backed away, his left eye tightly shut. Dean allowed him the full five minutes to recuperate, but Stephens’s eye would not open, forcing a halt to the fight, resulting in a no contest decision.

Rodriguez was fuming after the fight, initially pulling away from a post-fight interview with broadcaster Michael Bisping. He cooled down, but many of the fans in the arena did not. 

As Stephens left the Octagon, he was surrounded by his cornermen and officials, who tried to provide him cover as fans rained down beer, popcorn, and other items as they booed him out of the arena.

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