Jeremy Stephens found himself on the receiving end of a fight-ending eye poke landed by Yair Rodriguez at UFC Fight Night 159, and the MMA veteran has come under fire from top middleweight contender Paulo Costa.
Costa, who is expected to fight the winner of next months highly anticipated middleweight title unification bout between Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya, said Lil Heathen should no longer be allowed to compete in the UFC following the result of last nights anticlimactic main event in Mexico City.
What Costa fails to acknowledge is that Stephens was unable to open his left eye, which means the 33-year-old ultimately had no say in the doctors stoppage. Herb Dean ruled the bout a No Contest (NC) just fifteen seconds into the opening round because Stephens was physically unable to continue, through no fault of his own.
Following the bout, Stephens revealed that he had suffered a deep scratch and deep bruise of his left eye, and that he was still unable to see while back in the locker room. The Alliance MMA product was bombarded with bottles of alcohol while exiting the cage, as fans erupted into chaos following the result.
Stephens has called for an immediate rematch with Rodriguez, so expect the UFC to re-book the fight in the coming weeks.