It looks like Jeremy Stephens’ return to the Octagon will be against some stiff competition.
ESPN’s Ariel Helwani is reporting that a fight between Stephens and rising featherweight prospect Zabit Magomedsharipov is in the works. The fight is targeted for UFC 235 on pay-per-view (PPV), which takes place on March 2nd from Las Vegas:
“Zabit Magomedsharipov vs. Jeremy Stephens is in the works for UFC 235 on March 2 in Las Vegas, multiple sources told ESPN. The fight isn’t finalized just yet but moving in the right direction.”
Stephens comes off a disappointing defeat to former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo. After racking up a three-fight win streak, Aldo stopped Stephens in the first round back in July. Now, “Lil Heathen” is looking to get back in the win column. However, he’ll face a difficult challenge against a grappler in Zabit, who has proven extremely dominant on the mat.
He is undefeated in his UFC tenure at the moment. The Russian is on a 12-fight win streak and hasn’t lost since his sole defeat back in 2013. Zabit has been chasing a high-profile fight in the division for quite some time. He finally has it in a proven name like Stephens, whose knockout power can end a fight on the drop of a dime.