The main event at UFC Fight Night 159 had a decent amount of hype coming into the fight card in Mexico City but was unfortunately brought to a very sudden end.
The fight card consisted of only one TKO/knockout victory, which was awarded to Steve Peterson knocked out his opponent Martin Bravo in the second round. So we were all hoping for a show-stealing main event and unfortunately, it did not even get out of the first round, and not for the reason you may think.
Yair Rodriguez came out swinging early against his opponent Jeremy Stephens. Hitting Stephens with two solid kicks before going to a punch. While going for the punch though, Rodriguez accidentally poked Stephens in the eye, and veteran referee called time and gave Stephens plenty of time to recover.
Stephens did his best to play it off so he could continue in the fight, but the damage was too much, as Stephens could barely open his eye. So Herb Dean had no choice but to call the fight as a no contest, with neither of the two fighters participating in the main event earning a victory.
Fans inside the Mexico City Arena were visibly upset about the decision. As fans were throwing objects in the direction of the cageside area.
Rodriguez was hoping to get a victory for the hometown crowd since he fights out of Mexico. Though that one mistake he made only 15 seconds into the fight, cost both fighters the chance at earning the win, and climbing the ladder of the Featherweight rankings.
“I apologize a great deal.” said Rodriguez during the post-fight interview. “We both trained very hard for this fight, everyone spent a lot of money to come down and compete, and to support us. I feel really bad about it, Jeremy will be back, let’s do this again.”
It was obvious that Rodriguez was upset about what happened inside the cage Saturday night. He wanted to go out there and give a great fight in front of his home country and get even closer to Featherweight title contention, but this outcome leaves that possibility up in the air.
We will not know exactly how this fight will shake up the Featherweight rankings, but one thing we do know is that both competitors will have to wait for their next fight to try and better their positions in the rankings.
It was a difficult thing to see two fighters who work very hard to fight at the highest level in MMA, have to give it up due to a no contest. Both Rodriguez and Stephens will have to just keep working and be ready when Dana White calls them for the next fight.