UFC on FOX 28 featured a slew of entertaining fights, but Jeremy Stephen’s controversial KO win over Josh Emmett has been the focal talking point of the event.
Stephens, a top-ten ranked featherweight contender, looked to have landed an illegal knee and two potentially illegal elbows in a wild frenzy in the second round.
‘Lil Heathen’ landed those shots right before he scored one of the most brutal knockouts of the year, finishing Emmett with two crushing elbows at 1:35 of the second round.
After the fight, play-by-play commentator Daniel Cormier and UFC on FOX 28 analyst Dominick Cruz got into a heated exchange on the FS1 post-fight show.
Cormier, who called the action ringside, said Stephens ‘got away with one’ by landing an illegal strike without being penalized, and Cruz fired back by sticking up for his Alliance MMA teammate and argued that the knee barely touched Emmett.
Did Jeremy Stephens strike Josh Emmett with an illegal knee? @dc_mma @dominickcruz and @bisping intensely debate the details of the main event! #UFCOrlando https://t.co/cQxX5So9bb— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) February 25, 2018
Check out the transcript, courtesy of MMAFighting.com, below.
“It didn’t hurt Josh Emmett, but it doesn’t have to,” Cormier said. “As long as it hits your opponent, it is an illegal shot. It doesn’t have to hurt Josh Emmett. Dom said something to the affect of, that was a nasty knee, if it landed it would have been over immediately. It doesn’t have to be over immediately. As long as it makes contact, it is an illegal blow and it’s over.”
Cruz responded: “Where did it make contact? … Where did it land?”
“It ducks,” Cruz said.
“It touches!” Cormier responded.
Firing back, Cruz asks, “Where does it touch, bro?”
“Don’t make it seem like I am against Jeremy Stephens, because I am not,” Cormier said. “That’s contact, boys!”
Cruz replied: “You’re wrong.”
Cruz then adds that it can’t be an illegal knee if the referee “doesn’t call it illegal.”
“Then don’t call it illegal,” Cruz said.
“Dominick, I am just telling you that you’re wearing glasses, you can admit, hey your boy got away with one,” Cormier said. “It’s like me robbing a bank and getting away with it. You can’t be mad at me.”
“I disagree,” Cruz said. “You’re wrong. He missed.”
Tensions continued to rise on the FS1 post-fight show but both analysts kept it professional (just).
Emmett, who suffered the first knockout loss of his career, will be appealing the official result to the Florida State Boxing Commission in hopes of having the bout overturned to a No Contest.