Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Some people say that UFC featherweight Conor McGregor’s entire game is based on a straight left. That is a falsehood – it’s the straight left in MMA history, and an incredible trash talking game.

The more painful side of McGregor’s skill set was on full display at Tuesday’s UFC 205 press conference, when featherweight Jeremy Stephens verbally laid into McGregor.

The Notorious response was to look puzzled and ask the audience “Who the F*** is that guy?!” It became a thing.

Wait for it.

Stephens appeared on Toe-2-Toe with Brian Stann on SiriusXM radio, and offered a response.

“It’s kind of sad because I really couldn’t hear exactly what he was saying throughout the press conference, or what anybody was saying,” said Stephens, as transcribed by Jed Meshew for MMA Fighting. “I couldn’t hear what Donald Cerrone was saying and he was right next to me. I wanted to jump in a little bit more and create that buzz because there’s a lot of buzz around McGregor and I wanted to steal that thunder but I also didn’t want to sound like an idiot because I couldn’t hear exactly what he was saying.

“When we got into it, it is what it is. He knows exactly who I am. I’ve fought on his cards before and had some nasty knockouts. It’s only a matter of time but right now my 100% focus is on Frankie Edgar. An exciting win, a great knockout, a highlight win puts me right in the mix for that title shot. You never know, there could be some injuries or whatnot and I’d gladly be the guy to step up and put on a show for the New York fans.”

“One thing over my career that I felt I lacked in – which is also a confidence builder as you know – is cardio. I really implemented a low training method to build a fantastic cardio base that I have now. I’m able to burst and just throw heat for 15-25 minutes without having to worry about getting tired which is a mental block in the past that’s affected me in fights… I’m gonna push a vicious pace on Frankie and I feel like that’s where it’s gonna play out.”

Jeremy Stephens fights Frankie Edgar at UFC 205 on November 12, at Madison Square Garden, in New York, New York.