An absolute barn burner is headed to Las Vegas as #6 ranked Jeremy ‘Lil Heathen’ Stephens (28-15 MMA, 15-14 UFC) will try to derail the hype train of Zabit Magomedsharipov (16-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) at UFC 235 on March 2.
With the clear #1 ranked contender Brian Ortega losing to champ Max Holloway at UFC 231, the door is wide open for a challenger for Holloway’s throne.
Jeremy Stephens was on a tear with a three-fight winning and bonus streak before meeting former two-time featherweights champion José Aldo Jr. in Calgary back in July. Stephens came out extremely aggressive however got tagged by a beautiful liver shot from Aldo which had him folded on the canvas. Aldo landed few punches as a cherry on the cake to achieve a stoppage victory. Stephens believed the stoppage was certainly premature.
Magomedsharipov, on the other hand, is running through the entire division. He is 4-0 in the UFC with three of his victories coming by the way of submission. Magomedsharipov, however, has shown crisp striking in his fights as well. His last victory being by the way of a rare Suleoev stretch which is a modified armbar against a very gritty Brandon Davis at UFC 228 in September.
With the booking of #2 ranked José Aldo against #4 ranked Renato Moicano, the winner would probably get the nod for the title shot before Stephens or Magomedsharipov. However keeping in mind the stacked nature of UFC’s featherweights division, a victory is a necessity for both the fighters in their quest for the title.