Attempting to stand and trade with Jeremy Stephens has led to bad results for many a fighter over the years.
Doo Ho Choi was added to the list on Sunday night.
Stephens took a round to figure things out in his UFC St. Louis main event, then showed off the heavy hands which have long been his stock in trade.
Stephens put a hurting on “The Korean Superboy” until the fight at Scottrade Center was waved off at the 2:56 mark of the second round in a featherweight fight.
The opening round was a tactical and methodical affair. Choi looked poised and speedy and outlanded Stephens on signficant stikes by a 2-to-1 margin, but Stephens landed the heavier shots.
That turned out to be a precursor of things to come. Choi landed a flush front kick early in the second round, but Stephens shook it off and pressed forward. Among the big blows were an uppercut to the jaw, a straight right, and a right hook to the ear that dropped Choi. Several blows later, including a right to the jaw which bounced Choi’s head off that mat, and the fight was over.
Afterward, Stephens, who has won two in a row, called out top featherweight contender Brian Ortega.
“Brian Ortega, where’s he at, I know he had a big win,” Stephens said. “I just want to fight whoever is in front of me.”
Stephens’ 17th KO/TKO and 20th stoppage victory improved his record to (27-14). Choi (14-3) has dropped two in a row.