Jeremy Stephens spoke with media members prior to his UFC Vegas 24 main event against Drakkar Klose.
After a UFC career that began in 2007 and spans 34 fights under the promotion, Jeremy Stephens is making his return to the lightweight division after an 8-year featherweight stint. It’s been a tough stretch for the veteran who finds himself on a five-fight winless streak. While the competition results haven’t been great as of late, it’s been things outside the octagon that have been the most tumultuous.
On media day Stephens opened up about his issues with having to deal with his mother who has had a lifelong struggle with addiction and recently became ill and dependent on full-time care.
“I had a lot of stuff going on with my mom you know, she almost died,” Stephens said. “That’s why I’m fighting, you know trying to get her in a better place, get her the best help that I can. It’s been a year off, so it’s a long time coming man. Saturday you’ll see why and what I’ve been doing.”
However, the pain and suffering endured from having to be there for his mother has had a silver lining. As it inspired him to take a look at himself and make improvements that would help him to be a more effective support system.
“I decided to get sober, I decided to stop drinking and really handle these things raw dog. I wanted to deal with the raw emotions .”
As Stephens explained, the inspiration to get sober for the better of his mother has produced positive effects that have spilled over into his professional life.
“I’ve never been more happier in my life, I’ve never been more clear, I’ve never been more focused. Saturday night you guys are in for a treat, I’m tellin’ ya, this is gonna be my best performance.”
As for the task at hand, it’s Drakkar Klose who stands before him looking to extend his winless streak to 6. Klose is coming off of a knockout loss against Beneil Dariush and is looking to hand Stephens a loss upon his return to lightweight. Despite being on a winless skid coupled with the troubles outside of the cage, the renewed Stephen’s is singular in his approach and won’t be bothered by any outside noise come fight night.
“Come Saturday night it’s all about the win, win-win-win no matter what,” said Stephens. “Enjoy the performance, you guys are gonna be in for a treat. This guy’s going to sleep.”
UFC Vegas 24 takes place on Saturday, April 17, 2021, live from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, NV. Follow along with FanSided, who is on-site, for all your live news and highlights.