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UFC Boston’s Jeremy Stephens says Yair Rodriguez rematch is personal: ‘I’m gonna kill this kid’

“I’m gonna kill this kid. If he don’t die, it don’t count.”

UFC Fight Night: Rodriguez v Stephens Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

There’s no love lost between UFC on ESPN 6 co-headliners Jeremy Stephens and Yair Rodriguez, as things quickly turned personal between the two featherweights after their highly anti-climactic headlining bout at UFC Fight Night 159.

The fight came to an abrupt end just fifteen seconds into the opening round, as Stephens was unable to continue after being hit with an accidental eye poke, thus resulting in a No Contest (NC).

The Mexican fans at Mexico City Arena didn’t react well to this result, as ‘Lil Heathen’ was pelted with beer and showered with abuse as he made his way to the locker room. Rodriguez was also notably furious with the result, and it didn’t take long until both fighters crossed paths and got into a minor post-fight scuffle at the fighter’s hotel in Mexico City. Rodriguez has also accused Stephens of milking the eye poke and looking for an easy way out of the fight.

Those comments obviously didn’t go down too well with Stephens, as the MMA veteran has promised to ‘kill’ ‘El Pantera’ on Oct. 18.

“I feel good,” Jeremy Stephens said after open workouts (h/t “Cool as a cucumber. Calm like a bomb. Ready to go off. I’m gonna kill this kid. If he don’t die, it don’t count. That’s what I’m thinking. It’s always personal. It’s always personal when you fight, this kid’s trying to take money off my kid’s table. What if I was coming into your house, taking food off your table and smacking your kid? That’s the way I look at it. How would you feel if I was to do that? Personal? F**k yeah, it’s personal.

“It’s a fight. You only get one cheque if you lose, you think this is a game? You think this is a sport? It’s not a sport, it’s fist fighting bro. I’m fighting for my blood, I’m fighting for my family every time I step in there.”

UFC on ESPN 6, which also features a headlining light heavyweight bout between Chris Weidman and Dominick Reyes, takes place this Friday, October 18 at the TD Garden in Boston.