UFC on Fox: Emmett vs. Stephens. Main Fight Insights

Max “Pain” Griffin (14-4) Defeats “Platinum” Mike Perry (11-3) By Unanimous Decision.

Max Griffin has an excellent straight right jab.

The fighter from Sacramento subdued the ruthless power puncher Perry with his superior footwork and boxing skill. “Platinum” is known as a knockout artist (2nd highest knockdown rate in Welterweight Division history) and tried to land bombs throughout. Griffin had the scouting report though and used his excellent cardio, coupled with quick footwork to step around Perry’s strikes. From there Griffin was able to land his own powerful jabs using his length to secure the win. After this, “Pain” hopes to jump into the top 15 of the UFC Welterweight rankings.

#8 Ilir “The Sledgehammer” Latifi (15-5) Defeats #5 Ovince Saint Preaux (22-10) By Submission – Standing Guillotine Choke (3:48 Round 1).

Ilir Latifi is downright ferocious.

We knew wrestling was his forte, but who knew Mr. Latifi had more tricks up his sleeve? “The Sledgehammer” found success early with the overhand left, knocking Saint Preaux to the canvas multiple times. From there, the Swede pounced on his opponent, smothering him with punches and ultimately put him straight to sleep with the standing guillotine finish.

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At a major height and reach disadvantage, Ilir knew he had to close the distance against Saint Preaux and his lethal kicks. Latifi cut the cage in half with his impressive speed and kept him off balance with leg kicks and dirty boxing flurries. All around complete domination from “The Sledgehammer” will earn a top 5 spot in the Light Heavyweight rankings. Maybe a Swedish showdown with Alexander Gustafsson is next for Latifi?

#2 Jessica Andrade (17-6) Defeats #5 Tecia “Tiny Tornado” Torres (10-1) by Unanimous Decision.

Jessica Andrade is scary strong.

The Brazilian strawweight quelled the “Tiny Tornado” with her own storm of physicality. Andrade imposed her will on Tecia Torres Saturday night, with numerous pile drivers and body slams. Through relentless pressure, she was able to walk Torres down all night and control the middle of the cage. Andrade’s constant pressure opened up the myriad of slam takedowns.

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With a performance this impressive, it makes you wonder how former champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk was able to beat Andrade without being slammed to the canvas. The question may soon be answered, as Andrade will surely get a strawweight title shot for her next fight.

#8 Jeremy “Lil’ Heathen” Stephens (28-14) Defeats #4 Josh Emmett (14-2) By Knock Out – Punches and Elbows (1:35 Round 2).

You can learn a lot from Jeremy Stephens.

The main event will be in perpetual controversy after Jeremy Stephens possibly delivered an illegal knee to Josh Emmett. The debate is still raging as to whether the strike was legal, but I like to look past the negative and find all the positives.

The final fight on the card was a great one, a back and forth brawl that saw both men get knocked down to the canvas. Both Stephens and Emmett’s raw power were on display and the fight could’ve gone either way. Ultimately, “Lil Heathen’s” all around stand up game was too much for the Sacramento kid Emmett.

My main takeaway from this is how far Jeremy Stephens has come in his UFC career. A true veteran, “Lil Heathen’s” first UFC fight happened all the way back in 2007, and he lost. Throughout his career, Stephens has taken two steps forward, then two straight back. He would make it close to the top, then crash back down to earth. One thing is for sure, he never stopped coming back for more.

Stephens recently changed everything; a new training regimen, coach, and diet have set him up to finally chase gold. His newly found success says the changes were vital and now Jeremy is a top contender in the featherweight conversation after this win. If you only glean one insight from this weekend’s fights, learn from Jeremy Stephen’s perseverance.

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