Rafael Suanes-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
Dana White did everything he could to get Jeremy Stephens out of jail and into the Octagon for his scheduled UFC on FX 5 bout with Yves Edwards on Friday at the Target Center in Minneapolis.
But it wasn't meant to be. The fight was canceled and Stephens, as of the time of this writing, is still being held in a local jail.
"I was 100 percent confident I was going to get him out and he was going to fight," White said at the post-fight press conference.
The drama started Friday morning, when the UFC lightweight was arrested by Henepin County, Minn. authorities at the Marriott in Minneapolis and booked on an outstanding felony warrant.
White said Stephens was held on a two assault charges based on a 2011 incident in Des Moines, Iowa. One commanded $1,000 bail and the other $20,000.
"Where they ended was f--- insane," White said. "I mean, I could have gotten [Charles] Manson out for what they wanted me to pay for him."
MMAFighting.com contacted both the Des Moines police department and the Polk County Sheriff's office to confirm the information and were told Iowa laws on warrants state that such information can only be released in person or through a written request.
At the press conference, White gave his breakdown of the situation, saying he did everything in his power to get Stephens released.
"I go straight to the police, the sheriff's department here, and start putting the pieces together on what's going on and how to fix it. I'm sure you saw from my tweeting, I was 100 percent confident I was going to get him out and he was going to fight. Basically what happened is, they do not like him in Des Moines, Iowa, where this warrant is from."
"Basically, he's in one of those situations where they're going to extradite him or not. We'll see what happens with this whole thing. The kid's been here since Monday, they arrest him almost at noon time on Friday after he weighs-in and everything else happens. In my opinion, they did this on purpose."
A spokesman for the Polk County Sheriff's office -- where current Sheriff Bill McCarthy is up for re-election -- refused comment.
"I cut the deal with people down in Des Moines, Iowa, to get him out," he said. "I accept that deal too. They changed the deal. Every time I accepted the deal, they kept trying to make it harder and harder and harder. You know me, especially after I tweeted the media to shut up, I was devising a plan to break him out and get him over here to come out and do this fight. So, they finally made this deal for an astronomical amount of money to make the deal, and I agreed to it, and then they did it again. So they're going to stick it to this kid big-time when he gets to Iowa. "
The 26-year old Stephens was born and raised in Des Moines, but relocated to San Diego, Calif., where he trains with Alliance MMA. White said that if a UFC fighter gets in trouble, the company will have their back whether the fighter is a star or not.
"Jeremy Stephens is a young kid, a young, dumb kid who made a mistake and made a bigger mistake by not taking care of it, but, he's got a side to this story, everybody's got their side of the story. I look at the problem and see what it is. I'm always going to believe my guy until I'm proven wrong. I'm always going to support the guys or girls who work for us. ... There's two sides to the story. I'm going to support my guy. You don't have to be Rampage, or Jon Jones, or some of the big stars in the UFC, if you're in the UFC and you've helped us and you're a fighter here, I'm going to support you and I'm going to have your back, depending on how serious the situation is."
"Floyd Mayweather got to decide when to go to jail, you know what I mean? But this kid on an assault charge, couldn't have come out and fight today. When he could gone back to jail, I could have bailed him out, I would have flew him to Des Moines, Iowa to face the charges there. And they dragged me out and played games all day."
As for Edwards, while he was paid for the bout, he still sounded disappointed in an interview with Fuel TV's Ariel Helwani. Edwards was told 35 minutes before the card's conclusion that the bout would not go down as scheduled.
"I got the arena and I saw that the fights' order was changing," Edwards said. "I didn't know what was going on. My corner was trying to keep me focused, they didn't really tell me anything. Throughout the fight, my night got moved around. Toward the end of the night, Dana told me, 'I appreciate you being ready all night, but, I'm don't think there's going to be a fight tonight.' It's one of those things where I put in all the work and it didn't happen. I'm kind of upset."
Latest From MMA Warehouse
- Cain Velasquez UFC 160 Walkout Shirt
- Vitor Belfort UFC on FX 8 Photo Shirt
- Vitor Belfort UFC on FX 8 Cornerman Shirt
- Chael Sonnen UFC 159 Walkout Shirt
- Henderson UFC on FOX 7 Walkout Shirt
- Nate Diaz UFC on FOX 7 Walkout Shirt
- GSP UFC 158 Walkout Shirt
- UFC Walkout Clothing
- More: MMA Clothing | MMA Gear | MMA Shorts | MMA Gloves | MMA Shirts