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Jeremy Stephens: It's a whole new better me at 145

Guilherme Cruz, MMA Fighting

GOIANIA, Brazil -- Jeremy Stephens isn't here to play.

Undefeated since dropping to the featherweight division, Stephens needed 40 seconds to give TUF: Brazil winner Rony Jason his first loss inside the Octagon at UFC Fight Night 32 in Goiania, Brazil, on Nov. 9.

And he credits his experience at 155 pounds, with a 7-8 in the UFC, for his recent success at the featherweight division.

"I took everything I've learned at 155, wins and losses, and I've moved to 145," Stephens said after the fight. "To me, I'm 2-0 in the UFC. It's awesome to start over. I couldn’t do it without the help of my team. I'm at 145 to stay. I feel fast, I feel light. It's just a whole new better me.

"I've worked very hard in the office, I'm always training. I'm always getting better. I've grown as a fighter and a human being. I'm getting better every day."

Jason was 3-0 in the UFC with two finishes, and stopping him was a big deal for Stephens. "Lil' Heathen" doesn't care if he's already a Top 10 fighter after the win, but is confident it's "just a matter of time" until he gets there.

"Rony Jason reminds of me when I first started fighting, very aggressive and strong, with good jiu-jitsu," he said. "I was able to work on his openings. If you look at my past few fights, you'll see I'm getting a lot tighter and technical. I was able to capitalize on that, and it landed."

After a quick win, Stephens wants to get back in the cage as soon as possible.

"I don’t need to call anybody out," he said. "I'd like to fight again soon. I feel healthy, I feel strong. I'm going to go home, take a few weeks off, spend some times with my family, but I'll be back to the gym very soon."

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