PREVIEW: Jeremy Stephens vs Josh Emmett
Featured Image Credit: MMA Junkie
This weekend, the UFC heads to Orlando and is headlined in a marquee featherweight fight between Jeremy Stephens and Josh "Ninja Turtle Body" Emmett. Today, we preview that fight.
Jeremy Stephens is coming off of a huge win against Doo Ho Choi back in January, marking his first true win streak since 2013-14, showing he can hang with the division's elite. In that fight, and many of his other victories, it showed just how hard he can hit. Doo Ho Choi has an INSANE chin, as seen in the Cub Swanson fight, but Stephens put him out, knocking him down before that. He may now be the hardest hitting 145er (Since Conor is out of the picture), and he doesn't mind letting people know about it.
Opponents need to be careful wherever the fight goes with Stephens, as he also has a couple of wins by submission, so he could definitely catch somebody in a choke if they are not watching out. Obviously, they have to worry about his hands, too, because if you slip up for a second, you'll wake up dazed and confused while "Lil Heathen" is celebrating. Don't be that guy.
Josh Emmett is a legit dude. He's 13-1 in MMA, his only loss being a split decision loss to Desmond Green last April. He is coming off of a HUGEEEEEEEEEE KO of Ricardo Lamas in a fight where it looked to show that Lamas was good enough to beat everyone beneath him, but not anyone above him. Emmett had other plans when he made Lamas go stiff. A couple of other things about Emmett is that he trains at TAM with former champion Cody Garbrandt, Sage Northcutt, and a bunch of other beasts in similar weight classes, so he's sparring and rolling with the best of the best.
His strategy going into this has to be to use wrestling and avoid the big punch. He is a former collegiate wrestler and has won a no-gi blue belt world championship in jiu-jitsu, so he should look to use that to smother and stall Stephens in this one. On the feet, he has shown he has that capability of knocking guys out cold, but Stephens has an incredible chin and has at least as much power as Emmett, if not more. For those reasons, he should stick to finding the takedown and taking the fight there, where Stephens is less comfortable.
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