by Dane McGuire
UFC official confirmed to MMA Fighting Jeremy Stephens has exited the promotion.
Stephens, a veteran of 34 fights in the Octagon (28-19, 1 no contest overall) leaves the world leader in MMA after first debuting in 2007.
He last headlined a card for the UFC against Doo Ho Choi in January 2018, the promotion’s debut in St. Louis, Missouri.
He was 0-6 as of late, most recently being submitted by Mateusz Gamrot.Stephens fought out his contract in July and did not re-sign with the UFC. The loss by kimura to Gamrot lasted just one minute and five seconds.
Two people with knowledge of the situation also confirmed Stephens’ free agent status to MMA Junkie. As MMA Fighting noted in the initial report, Stephens holds the record for the fourth most appearances in UFC history with 34 bouts and almost six and a half hours spent in action.
He also ranks in the top five with the most decision wins (16), knockdowns (18) and Fight of the Night bonuses (7).
As MMA Junkie indicated in its report, it is unknown if Stephens has signed with a new promotion. At this time he has not commented on his departure.
During the course of writing this initial article, veteran MMA journalist Ariel Helwani is now reporting Stephens is expected to head to the Professional Fighters League.
While details are few at this time, Helwani wrote on Substack:
“Jeremy Stephens is no longer in the UFC after 34 fights. I’m told he is close to finalizing a deal with PFL to fight in their 155-pound division this upcoming season.”
The 2022 PFL regular season is set to begin April 20.
BJPenn.com said following Helwani’s update that when and who Stephens is to fight in his promotional debut will be announced in the coming weeks.
As mentioned in previous reports the PFL and ESPN have extended their broadcast partnership through 2023 with an option to extend.
The majority of the PFL regular season and all of the PFL playoffs will be on ESPN, simulcast on ESPN+, with additional event coverage broadcast on ESPN2.