UNCASVILLE, Conn. – One of many longest-tenured fighters on the UFC roster, Jeremy Stephens has by no means felt higher than he does now.
As he prepares for his twenty fourth promotional look, which takes place July 17 at UFC on ESPN 26 towards Mateusz Gamrot, Stephens (28-18 MMA, 15-17 UFC) partook in one other sober coaching camp – a means he had ready for his canceled Drakkar Klose bout earlier this yr.
“I’m nonetheless sober to at the present time and nonetheless digging inside myself,” Stephens informed MMA Junkie on Thursday. “Like I mentioned, I didn’t transfer camps. I didn’t go anyplace. I simply I went inside my very own thoughts, my very own soul, a part of like a therapeutic course of. Every part I used to be working from (and) insecurities as a person, like I’m going through it. I’m having these experiences. I’m nonetheless f*cking prime. I nonetheless really feel like I’m proper in my prime. I’m stronger than ever.
“… I simply really feel in a extremely good place mentally, bodily. I really feel like I’m even trying higher. The no alcohol, it’s opened up lots of issues for me. I’ve actually confronted my demons. I’ve sat. I’ve been alone. I’m not scared to be alone no extra. I actually sat with myself and handled lots of fears going through these issues and extra psychological. It’s simply actually helped ripple impact the skin of my life. Every part’s simply uncooked in abundance. I’m happier. I’m extra energized. Within the room, I’m extra in a position to categorical myself, speak in confidence to individuals, assist individuals outward focus. All this work that I’m doing has actually ripple effected into abundance of every thing that I’ve actually set my coronary heart out to do. There’s no f*cking distractions. It’s simply all enlightenment to myself.”
Stephens, 35, has remained aggressive towards the division’s elite, going the gap with prime contenders Yair Rodriguez and Zabit Magomedsharipov earlier than a Could 2020 knockout loss to Calvin Kattar. Although he’s put up valiant efforts, he’s hungry for a win – particularly as his again might be up towards the wall.
“Your ass is all the time on the road once you signal with the UFC, bro,” Stephens mentioned. “That’s the factor that I’m not petrified of. I welcome that sh*t. I really like when my ass is on the road. As a result of each time you ever see my ass actually on the road, I’ve had the f*cking most stunning performances just like the Dennis Bermudez (battle), the f*cking highlights. … You recognize once you signal that dotted line, you will get knocked out. You may get your arm damaged. You may get f*cking reduce from the UFC. Your ass is all the time on the road. That’s why this recreation is round. That’s why I’m nonetheless round as a result of I’m in a position to settle for that darkness, that ugly aspect, and smile and present those that doesn’t must be the end result.”
His opponent Gamrot (18-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) is a tricky out, as confirmed by his report of just one loss in 19 skilled outings. A former KSW champion, Gamrot is somebody Stephens actually respects – but in addition somebody he plans to make a spotlight out of.
“I’m going to fu*king show you unsuitable and I’m going to do it very nasty-like with a spotlight reel KO with a shin upside your head, a knee upside your head, an uppercut from hell,” Stephens mentioned. “Then, increase, all people’s speaking about, ‘Oh man. He’s again within the combine, again within the combine.’ That’s the place I’m at dwelling on my own enjoying Linkin Park simply leaping round my f*cking home. It’s like, ‘Oh yeah, child.’
“I’m simply visualizing the win. I’ve already received. I’ve already felt it and I simply can’t wait to go in there and get that win as a result of it simply offers me goosebumps simply speaking about it so I do know what’s going to occur. … You’re going to see one thing f*cking nasty and also you’re going to leap up off your sofa and be like that motherf*cker mentioned he was going to do it and he did it.”
UFC on ESPN 26 takes place July 17 on the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The complete card airs on ESPN/ESPN+.
Take a look at MMA Junkie’s full interview with Jeremy Stephens beneath: