Early this morning the Minneapolis Police Department arrested Jeremy Stephens, just hours before the lightweight was expected to face Yves Edwards at UFC on FX 5.
Details surrounding the circumstances of his arrest are currently sketchy at best, as Minneapolis police, the UFC, nor Stephens’ representatives have released any official statements on the matter.
According to a report by MMAJunkie.com, as of 11:44 AM local time Stephens was being held by Hinnepin County authorities, and no word is presently available on the time frame for his release.
Should Stephens be unable to compete, which, at present, seems very likely, this will be the second scheduled fight to be wiped from Friday’s UFC on FX 5 card after Dennis Hallman was forced to pull out for failing to make weight.
Stay tuned to ProMMANow.com as we keep you updated on this, and all, breaking news leading up to tonight’s UFC on FX event.
UPDATE (12:35 PM): According to the County Sherrif’s Jail Roster, Stephens is being held without bail due to an outstanding felony warrant. This all but assures a cancellation of tonight’s scheduled fight.
UPDATE (4:05 PM): UFC President Dana White assures us Jeremy Stephens is still fighting tonight:
OMFG!!! YES Jeremy Stephens is fighting tonight! At no point did ANYONE from UFC say he wasn’t. Some media jackasses said he wasn’t
— Dana White (@danawhite) October 5, 2012
Interesting. Also very interesting there has been no mention of the arrest thus far on the FUEL TV broadcast.
UPDATE: (7 PM) White made an appearance on FUEL TV right before the main card and said he’d been working all day trying to take care of this. However, Stephens was still in jail and it’s not looking good that he will fight tonight. White insisted though the fight was still not “officially” canceled at that point and was upset the media had reported it as such.
UPDATE: (9:20 PM) The card has concluded, and, as many predicted, the Stephens fight did not occur. We are currently awaiting comment from Dana White.
UPDATE: (10:45 PM) Dana White has confirmed, in the post-fight press conference, that Stephens is currently being held on an outstanding warrant for a felony assault charge. According to White, he was unable to arrange for Stephens’ release in spite of his best efforts. White went as far as to say he offered to have police officers escort Stephens to and from the bout; however, it seemed to White that authorities “had it out for [Stephens]” and would not budge.
UPDATE: (9:54 PM) 10/8/12 The management team of Jeremy Stephens released a statement regarding the situation:
In response to the recent arrest and allegations regarding Jeremy Stephens we would like to take this opportunity to reach out to his supporters and clarify some of the information that has been circulating in the media.
In 2011, Jeremy was attending a homecoming party in Des Moines, Iowa. A person in attendance became intoxicated and disorderly, and was asked to leave by the owner of the establishment. The intoxicated individual subsequently became involved in a physical altercation with another person at the event. We have learned that, as the featured guest at the party, Jeremy’s name came up during the police investigation of the assault.
Prior to being detained the morning of October 5, 2012, in Minneapolis, Jeremy had never been arrested in connection with the assault, contacted about any possible charge and or notified about any outstanding warrant by mail or any other means. Jeremy has lived at the same residence in San Diego and has maintained the same phone number for the past year or more. Jeremy also uses social media to provide updates on his training, and to thank fans, supporters, sponsors, and the UFC. In short, Jeremy is not a hard guy to find, which can be seen at www.LilHeathenMMA.com.
At this time, we do not know why Polk County (Iowa) authorities waited to have a warrant served on Jeremy until the morning of his fight. He arrived in Minnesota four days earlier, stayed at the hotel with other fighters for the event, and attended the public weigh-in on Thursday afternoon. Because he was arrested so close to the time of the fight, arrangements for his release could not be made in time for him to compete despite the diligent efforts of the UFC. Minnesota state officials were great to deal with, but Polk County kept changing the deal making it impossible to get Jeremy released.
It will take some time for this unfortunate situation to be resolved. We ask that everyone be patient and wait for the truth to come out. We also would like to thank Jeremy’s fans who are standing by him during this tough time and especially Dana White and the staff at UFC for their incredible display of support for Jeremy throughout the ordeal.
There is nothing to hide, so we will keep everyone updated as things progress.