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Rodriguez/Stephens Ends In 15-Second No-Contest Due To Eye Poke

UFC Mexico City’s main-event between Yair Rodriguez and Jeremy Stephens fell apart in a matter of seconds after an accidental eye-poke in the opening exchange.

An outstretched hand from El Pantera grazed the eyeball of Lil Heathen, causing referee Herb Dean to bring proceedings to a halt before allowing Stephens his full allocated five minutes to recover.

It became apparent a few moments later that Jeremy was completely unable to open his eye as a result of the poke and as a result, the fight was called there and then – leaving the official result as a no-contest after a period of fifteen seconds in the opening round.

Watch the incident below and see for yourself.

A hugely disappointed Yair Rodriguez spoke to Michael Bisping as Stephens left the octagon under fire from those in attendance as they threw objects at him.

Clearly shocked and disappointed on what should have been a very special night, Rodriguez made his feelings known to those in attendance.

Yair then spoke to the ESPN desk and expressed his disappointment further, questioning the legitimacy of Stephen’s injury – despite in-octagon doctors making it clear that his eye was spasming directly after the poke.

Speaking to ESPN directly after the fight, Stephens, with his eye still covered by both a bandage and a pair of sunglasses, spoke to Yair, responding to the Mexican’s claims that he faked the injury by challenging him to run it back as soon as possible.

“Yair you think I’m faking bro? You’re the one who poked me in the eye.

“Let’s run it back in four or five weeks, two weeks, whatever. I’m ready. It’s just a deep scratch, deep bruise.

“You’re the one who poked me. Let’s run it back motherf***er. Let’s go!”

Those following the action through fight-week will know that Stephens moved his entire camp out to Mexico six weeks out from this contest, allowing himself to acclimatize to the Mexican altitude – at the expense of spending time with his family.

There will, of course, be those who side with Rodriguez – but if you know anything about the always-game Jeremy Stephens, you’ll know that this was simply an unfortunate accident, nothing more.

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Author: Cillian Cunningham

Lead mixed martial arts writer who can be contacted at [email protected]