Yair Rodriguez: Only Jeremy Stephens Knows if Reaction to Eye Poke Was a “Lie”, Latter Responds
By FCF Staff
Following the disastrous conclusion to the headliner for UFC Mexico City, Yair Rodriguez seemed to raise doubts about the eye poke that ended the fight. That got back to Jeremy Stephens, and the featherweight contender was quick to respond.
The highly anticipated fight officially only lasted 15 seconds, as Stephens took an eye poke moments in and he was given five minutes to recover. After five minutes, the punishing striker wasn’t able to open his left eye, and the fight was called.
After the disappointing result, Rodriquez had this to say about what had transpired (quotes via MMA Junkie):
“My family came here, all my friends came here, and you always have to give the benefit of the doubt to your opponent. You don’t know how he’s feeling. But he’s the only one who is going to have to live with that in his mind for the rest of his life, if it was a lie.”
“You always have to give the benefit of the doubt,” Rodriguez said, before referencing his 2017 TKO loss, via doctor stoppage, to Frankie Edgar. “I can’t imagine how it feels to have an eye poke. But I know how it feels to have an eye closed, and I still fought. But that’s up to me. But even with that, I told them I could see. I was ready to go in the third round because I said, ‘Yes, I could see,’ even if it was a lie. But everybody is different in this sport. The only one that has to live with that is Jeremy Stephens. I understand. I’m giving him completely the benefit of the doubt.”
MMA reporter and commentator Karyn Bryant caught up with Stephens at the hospital, and “Lil’ Heathen” directed the comments below to Rodriquez (warning: graphic language).
Tonight's No Contest in the #UFCMexico main event left @panteraufc questioning the severity of the eye injury. Here's @LiLHeathenMMA's response from the hospital moments ago: pic.twitter.com/tLMNvnQgFL
— Karyn Bryant (@KarynBryant) September 22, 2019