In the first UFC event of 2018, Jeremy Stephens established himself as a contender in the featherweight division with an impressive second-round TKO of Dooho Choi in the main event of UFC St. Louis. Stephens, currently the No. 9 featherweight in the world, is likely to make a jump in the rankings. If he's able to put together another performance like this, he will receive consideration for title contention.
The first round was back-and-forth with Choi getting the best of the exchanges. Choi landed a solid right hand and continued to pressure Stephens throughout the round. But in the second-round, it was Stephens who did the pressuring and he started throwing more fluid combinations. He eventually dropped Choi with a huge right hook and finished the fight with some ground-and-pound.
After the fight, Stephens called out Brian Ortega, who was in cageside during the fight. Ortega is currently ranked third in the heavyweight division and is on the cusp of a title shot. With five straight impressive wins, Ortega has the option of sitting out and waiting for his chance at the belt. But at 26 years old, he's also young in the sport so it wouldn't be a surprise if the UFC wants him to fight one more time before giving him a crack at the championship. If that does happen, a fight with Stephens will likely excite a lot of fans.
Full results from the event can be found below:
- Jeremy Stephens def. Dooho Choi via TKO (punches) at 2:36 of Round 2
- Jessica-Rose Clark def. Paige VanZant via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2)
- Kamaru Usman def. Emil Meek via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
- Darren Elkins def. Michael Johnson via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:22 of Round 2
- James Krause def. Alex White via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
- Marco Polo Reyes def. Matt Frevola via KO at 1:00 of Round 1
- Irene Aldana def. Talita Fernando via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
- Kyung Ho Kang def. Guido Cannetti via submission (triangle choke) at 4:53 of Round 1
- Jessica Eye def. Kalindra Faria via split decision (29-28, 28-29 29-28)
- JJ Aldrich def. Danielle Taylor via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
- Mads Burnell def. Mike Santiago via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)