Jeremy Stephens will return to the Octagon on Saturday, Sept. 21 when he takes on Yair Rodriguez in the main event of UFC Mexico City.
Stephens has been fighting in the UFC since 2007. It has been a long road for the 33-year-old, but he is a top-10 featherweight and looking to start a run to a title shot.
To do so, he added a big help for this fight camp and that is Tony Ferguson. Why he wanted ‘El Cucuy’ a part of his camp was simple. The top lightweight contender has trained at high altitudes before so he knows it would be a big help.
“I saw Tony Ferguson, [and] I knew he trained at high altitude,” Stephens said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show. “I was talking to him, talking about going to Big Bear. I went up there, trained with him a little bit, got some experience and got some great knowledge from him.”
For Jeremy Stephens, training with Tony Ferguson was amazing. ‘El Cucuy’ does not train with many other fighters or anyone in that matter. Yet, he let Stephens into his camp to help him prepare for Yair Rodriguez.
According to Stephens, they would train for hours straight, go for runs in the middle of the night. Yet, he says Ferguson is smart with his training and knows when to stop and not overdo it.
“Training with a guy like Tony Ferguson, who’s one of the top [fighters] in the world, who is more than deserving of a title shot, has so much knowledge and experience of beating guys asses, it was incredible,” Stephens said. “We trained probably six and a half hours straight, and then we’d take a little break. We’d watch ‘Rocky 4,’ and then we went on midnight runs, [or] 1 a.m.”
“It was an incredible experience,” Stephens continued. “I actually can’t wait to go back and help him train for his upcoming fight, go on them runs, and do that 6 and a half, seven hours, Floyd Mayweather-type training. It’s champ s—. The guy’s incredible, [but] he’s smart. It’s not just barbaric work. The guy trains with extreme intelligence.”
Ultimately, how training with Tony Ferguson will help Jeremy Stephens in this fight against Yair Rodriguez is to be seen. But, Stephens is confident he has what it takes to win this fight and get himself back on track. He is currently on a two-fight losing streak after he lost to Zabit Magomedsharipov and Jose Aldo and expects that to end on Saturday at UFC Mexico City.
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The Scrap’s Cole Shelton is a full-time MMA writer for various news outlets. Make sure to follow Cole on Twitter (@ColeShelton91) for a variety of content.