UFC lightweight Jeremy Stephens undoubtedly had a lot on his mind last week with a fight scheduled for Friday night, setting his focus squarely on a UFC on FX 5 meeting with seasoned veteran Yves Edwards and avoiding a three-fight skid inside the Octagon. What never entered his thoughts, however, was the likelihood of finding himself behind bars on the day of the event rather than locked in the cage he’s most familiar with.
Stephens was arrested hours before the show at his hotel for an outstanding warrant relating to assault charges in Iowa (where he hails from). He has remained there ever since though the 26-year old will at least face a judge today to address the matter and can call himself a free man, at least for awhile, depending on his financial circumstances.
According to MMAFighting, Stephens’ bail has been set at $100,000.
The 20-8 slugger’s management team has also released a statement on the situation, claiming Stephens was never informed that any charges had been brought against him.
“Prior to being detained the morning of October 5, 2012, in Minneapolis, Jeremy had never been arrested in connection with the assault, contacted about any possible charge and or notified about any outstanding warrant by mail or any other means. Jeremy has lived at the same residence in San Diego and has maintained the same phone number for the past year or more. Jeremy also uses social media to provide updates on his training, and to thank fans, supporters, sponsors, and the UFC. In short, Jeremy is not a hard guy to find,” explained one of Stephens’ representatives. “At this time, we do not know why Polk County (Iowa) authorities waited to have a warrant served on Jeremy until the morning of his fight. He arrived in Minnesota four days earlier, stayed at the hotel with other fighters for the event, and attended the public weigh-in on Thursday afternoon. Because he was arrested so close to the time of the fight, arrangements for his release could not be made in time for him to compete despite the diligent efforts of the UFC. Minnesota state officials were great to deal with, but Polk County kept changing the deal making it impossible to get Jeremy released.”
“In 2011, Jeremy was attending a homecoming party in Des Moines, Iowa. A person in attendance became intoxicated and disorderly, and was asked to leave by the owner of the establishment. The intoxicated individual subsequently became involved in a physical altercation with another person at the event. We have learned that, as the featured guest at the party, Jeremy’s name came up during the police investigation of the assault,” the statement continued, providing some information on the actual charge Stephens is facing. “There is nothing to hide, so we will keep everyone updated as things progress. To be clear, JEREMY WAS NOT INVOLVED IN THIS ASSAULT AT ALL!”
It is not believed Stephens’ legal woes will affect his UFC career, as organization head Dana White spoke out in his defense after the news first surfaced and stated the UFC did their best to get Stephens out of jail and into the ring.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC