ARLINGTON, Texas – Despite falling short in his PFL debut, Jeremy Stephens’ confidence hasn’t wavered.
Stephens (28-20) lost a back-and-forth standup war against Clay Collard (21-9) on Wednesday at 2022 PFL 1. Although it was a shutout in favor of Collard on the judges’ scorecards, Stephens definitely had his moments. He respects Collard’s willingness to stand and bang with him and has already dissected the necessary adjustments to get back to winning ways.
“Credit to Clay. He’s probably the only guy that’ll fight me like that,” Stephens told MMA Junkie and other reporters post-fight. “So straight up, props to him. I’ve been through a lot in the past two years. My career has been on the line, switching over PFL, so coming in here and getting a game opponent like that, I feel like he’s the best guy. To go in there and do that with a year off, it really lets me know where I’m at.
“There’s a few things I need to work on, basically cardio and volume, and I win that fight. So it’s good to get back in here. It’s good to know that I’m fighting in six, seven weeks from now. I’m healthy, I got a little black eye, so I can build on that. I can definitely work my cardio, work my volume, and I know what I need to do going forward, and I feel like I can knock all these motherf*ckers out on the roster besides Clay because that motherf*cker took a shot.”
Stephens knows he now has to play catchup after dropping his first bout of the season, but he has no doubt that he’ll be shutting the lights out of his next couple of opponents.
“You know what, I’m actually happy,” Stephens said. “(In) six, seven weeks, those guys on the roster that fought tonight, I’m sleeping them. There’s no doubt about it. You’re gonna see me catch some big points. It’s my first fight back in a while. Now I got some rhythm, and you’re gonna see a better version of me in six, seven weeks. Mark my words.”