Jeremy Stephens wants Doohoo Choi to worry about his power at UFC Fight Night 124

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ST. LOUIS – When Jeremy Stephens and Doohoo Choi meet at UFC Fight Night 124, the difference could be power.

Both fighters are known to come out swinging, but it’s what’s behind Stephens’ punches that could prove to be the deciding factor. And the way Stephens (26-14 MMA, 13-13 UFC) sees it, it’s a good for him if Choi (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) dwells on it.

“Let him worry about the power,” Stephens told MMAjunkie. “We got speed. We got takedowns. We got mental mindset. We got the great people of St. Louis. I know they’re going to be cheering on an American come main event. I’m pumped. I’m ready to rock and roll.”

Stephens and Choi face off in the main event of UFC Fight Night 124, which takes place tonight at Scottrade Center in St. Louis and airs on FS1 following prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Even though Choi hasn’t fought in over 13 months, he enters the bout with hype around him. That’s because the last time Choi was in the octagon, he was slugging it out with Cub Swanson in the “Fight of the Year” at UFC 206, which he lost by decision to snap a 12-fight winning streak.

Despite the outcome and the longest layoff of his career, Choi remains a fan favorite. And that’s quite all right with Stephens.

“I don’t care about hype,” he said. “This is a fist fight. He brings it, and we love them type of fights. So we’re going to bring it.”

Check out the video above to hear more from Stephens.

And for more on UFC Fight Night 124, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

No such thing as ring rust for UFC Fight Night 124 headliner Doohoo Choi

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ST. LOUIS – UFC featherweight Doohoo Choi needed a break.

At least, that’s what it looked like after his “Fight of the Year” candidate with Cub Swanson at UFC 206. To anyone who had any concern for his safety and well-being, a six-month rest wasn’t extreme.

Injury scrapped Choi’s return this past July, but he’s now back on the active list and ready to pick up where he left off. A fight with perennial contender Jeremy Stephens (26-14 MMA, 13-13 UFC) on Sunday at UFC Fight Night 124 presents a chance to work into the title picture.

“I don’t have such a thing as ring rust,” Choi (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) said through a translator. “I just want to show you how I worked so hard throughout the last year.”

UFC Fight Night 124 takes place at Scottrade Center in St. Louis. The event’s main card airs live on FS1 following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Part of his work on the mats at the open workout for Sunday’s event was centered around grappling. That might suggest an approach to Stephens that better protects his brain. But he said fans should expect the same hard-charging fighter that took the MMA world by storm this past year.

“I’m just going to do whatever I’ve got to do,” Choi said.

For more on UFC Fight Night 124, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

 

Source: MMA Junkie

MMAjunkie reader predictions: Make your picks for UFC Fight Night 124 in St. Louis

We want your predictions for Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 124 event in St. Louis.

Our staff picks feature includes the consensus picks from MMAjunkie readers. Simply cast your vote for each bout below, and we’ll use the official tallies that are registered by Thursday at midnight ET (9 p.m. PT).

Those MMAjunkie MMA reader consensus picks will be part of the UFC Fight Night 124 staff picks we release Friday ahead of the event. UFC Fight Night 124 takes place at Scottrade Center in St. Louis, and it airs on FS1 following prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

* * * *

Doohoo Choi vs. Jeremy Stephens

Records: Doohoo Choi (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC), Jeremy Stephens (26-14 MMA, 13-13 UFC)
Past five: Choi 4-1, Stephens 2-3
Division: Featherweight
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 1/8/18): Choi -170, Stephens +150

Take Our Poll
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Vitor Belfort vs. Uriah Hall

Records: Vitor Belfort (26-13 MMA, 15-10 UFC), Uriah Hall (13-8 MMA, 6-6 UFC)
Past five: Belfort 2-2 (one no-contest), Hall 2-3
Division: Middleweight
Rankings: Belfort honorable mention
Odds (as of 1/8/18): Hall -245, Belfort +175

Take Our Poll
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Jessica-Rose Clark vs. Paige VanZant

Records: Jessica-Rose Clark (8-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC), Paige VanZant (7-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC)
Past five: Clark 3-2, VanZant 3-2
Division: Women’s flyweight
Rankings: n/a
Odds (as of 1/8/18): Clark -150, VanZant +110

Take Our Poll
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Emil Meek vs. Kamaru Usman

Records: Emil Meek (9-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC), Kamaru Usman (11-1 MMA, 6-0 UFC)
Past five: Meek 4-1, Usman 5-0
Division: Welterweight
Rankings: Usman No. 9
Odds (as of 1/8/18): Usman -570, Meek +435

Take Our Poll
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For more on UFC Fight Night 124, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 124 lineup official with 4 fights on main card for St. Louis debut

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The lineup is set for a rare UFC fight card on Sunday.

UFC Fight Night 124 takes place Jan. 14 at Scottrade Center in St. Louis, and it’s the promotion’s first trip to the city. The main card airs live on FS1 following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Featherweight standout Jeremy Stephens (26-14 MMA, 13-13 UFC) headlines his third UFC card when he takes on South Korean Doohoo Choi (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC), who’s said he wants a title shot before reporting for mandatory military service. Choi is returning from an injury layoff that sidelined him for 2017.

The co-headliner features a middleweight bout between former UFC champ Vitor Belfort (26-13 MMA, 15-10 UFC) and Uriah Hall (13-8 MMA, 6-6 UFC). Belfort has repeatedly flirted with retirement during his current losing skid, only to change his mind after a decision win over Nate Marquardt.

“The Phenom,” an honorable mention in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings, now wants to fight five more times before hanging up his gloves.

Hall, meanwhile, was on three-fight lost skid before recently stopping Krzysztof Jotko via second-round knockout. A win over Belfort would be a notable name to add to his resume.

Also featured on the main card is the return of women’s strawweight starlet Paige VanZant (7-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC), who hopes to rebound from a submission loss and injury layoff with a win over Jessica-Rose Clark (8-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC). And surging welterweight standout Kamaru Usman (11-1 MMA, 6-0 UFC), the No. 9 ranked welterweight, hopes to make his case for a title shot when he fights Emil Meek (9-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC), who made his octagon debut 13 months ago with a decision win over tough veteran Jordan Mein. The fight is a rebooking from a scheduled UFC 219 faceoff that didn’t materialize.

The featured prelim on FS1 includes the return of featherweight vet Darren Elkins (23-5 MMA, 13-5 UFC), who’s riding a five-fight winning streak. Elkins, who’s No. 10 at 145 pounds, most notably delivered a “Comeback of the Year” candidate this past March against Mirsad Bektic. He faces off with No. 13 lightweight Michael Johnson (17-12 MMA, 9-8 UFC), who’s looking to reinvent himself at 145 pounds after delivering one half of MMAjunkie’s “2017 Round of the Year” winner.

On the UFC Fight Pass prelims, UFC women’s bantamweight vet Jessica Eye (11-6 MMA, 1-5 UFC) finally gets a chance to start over as a flyweight, taking on Kalindra Faria (18-6-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC), who stumbled out of the gate in her octagon debut at 125 pounds.

The full UFC Fight Night 124 card includes:

MAIN CARD (FS1, 10 p.m. ET)

  • Jeremy Stephens vs. Dooho Choi
  • Vitor Belfort vs. Uriah Hall
  • Jessica-Rose Clark vs. Paige VanZant
  • Emil Meek vs. Kamaru Usman

PRELIMINARY CARD (FS1, 8 p.m. ET)

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6 p.m. ET)

For more on UFC Fight Night 124, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie