Jeremy Stephens has been in the UFC for over 10 years but still doesn’t feel he gets the recognition he deserves.
Well, it’s time that changed. Following his most recent win over former two-time Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez, ‘Lil Heathen’ wants to start making more money to support his family.
“My kids are growing, and I want the best for them and the best for me and to set them up in the future,” Stephens said at the UFC 215 post-fight press conference at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, per MMA Junkie. “I’m just now starting to make good money in this sport, and it’s been a long time.
“I feel like I should be making a (expletive) more money, especially since I just beat a guy who makes probably double what I do.”
Stephens, 31, battered Melendez from pillar-to-post and made mincemeat of his left leg, snapping a two-fight losing streak and springing back into the winner’s column.
Hey All. Everyone is asking about Gilbert's leg. Here is a pic today. He is doing A ok. Thank you to all for the support. We feel the love pic.twitter.com/VQpNj7JlTO— KeriMelendez (@KeriMelendez415) September 11, 2017
The MMA veteran plans to do some broadcasting work for FOX in the future and fight former featherweight champ Jose Aldo, who lost his belt to Max Holloway earlier in June.
Aldo, though, wants to fight in November but Stephens won’t be able to return until December or January.
“I’m definitely going to be begging for some more money and putting on these performances (so) I can retire nice. I definitely want to retire and do some FOX analysis (work). But right now I’m a fighter, and I want to make as much money as I can.
“I would love that fight, but November, it’s a little tight on my schedule, and I can’t push two things back,” Stephens said of a potential fight against Aldo. “So December or January, something like that – that would be something I’d definitely look forward to. He’s a banger and a class act.
“I think me and him could get it on and give the fans a great showing. But I just can’t do November. I can’t keep pushing things back.”
Stephens is 3-3 in his last six and is currently ranked as the No. 8 featherweight contender in the world.