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Jonathan Brookins looking at June date with Jeremy Stephens

Jonathan Brookins hasn’t fought since going three hard rounds against Michael Johnson en route to winning the title of TUF 12 champ this past December. It now appears his follow-up to the performance will also take place at an Ultimate Fighter Finale, as word has surfaced Brookins will face 24-year old striker Jeremy Stephens on June 4 at the live conclusion to the upcoming season headlined by coaches Brock Lesnar and Junior dos Santos.

News of the likely pairing was first reported by MMAJunkie and has since been confirmed by other outlets.

A Pat Miletich product, Stephens is 19-6 in his career with fourteen TKOs. He has emerged with his hands raised in the Octagon three of the last four times he’s fought with the single blemish being a semi-controversial split decision defeat to Melvin Guillard at UFC 119. In addition to owning a brutal knockout of Marcus Davis at UFC 125 “Lil Heathen” also holds past victories over Justin Bucholz, Sam Stout, and Cole Miller.

The 12-3 Brookins will enter the match-up having won his last four fights including his unanimous outpointing of Johnson. Eight of his overall victories have come by way of submission.

Beyond Brookins attempt at going 2-0 in the UFC and the standard scrap between season finalists The Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale is also believed to be featuring a bout between top lightweights Anthony Pettis and Clay Guida as well as recent 145-pound contender Josh Grispi seeking a win against TUF 8 alumnus George Roop.


  • MCM says:

    Gone are the days of TUF champs getting easy fights.
    I was hoping Brooking would have dropped back down to 145. I think he’s better suited for that weight division.

  • Rece Rock says:

    Guess his contract disputes have gotten straightened out… Hey brookins LP said get a hair cut, or you’ll never reach your full potential.

  • Angry Mike says:

    Pretty tough draw for his debut. Brookins is game, and I like his attitude, but his striking isn’t on par with Stephens’.

  • JOEgun says:

    very tough & dangerous fight for Brookins. Jeremy has defeated tougher competition. im gonna have to go with Stephens in this one.

  • JOEgun says:

    …and by “dangerous” i mean Brookins could get KTFO. his striking has a ways to go to in comparison to Stephens

  • Creature says:

    Unless brookins has greatly improved his head movement and footwork (which in the johnson fight he literally had none” its gonna be a short night for brookins, stephens has more power than johnson and if he starts tagging brookins like johnson did, brookins will be waking up on a strecher..

  • Rich S. says:

    Ouch. Bad fight for Brookins. I’m sure we all think Stephens has a good shot at knocking him out, and I’m willing to bet he’s strong enough to keep Brookins’ from getting him to the ground.

  • Dufresne says:

    Definitely not testing the water with his big toe here. Win or lose, I like Brookins attitude inside and outside the cage. Considering how talented he is on the ground and how intelligent he seemed, I’m excited to see how far his standup game has come.

    But regardless of how far his striking has come, I can’t see him using it for much more than setting up the takedown, because as everyone has pointed out already, Stephens is no slouch.

  • mu_shin says:

    Liked Brookins’ attitude on the TUF show, humble, a student of the game, seemed like a good kid. He fought well on the finale, and deserved his decision victory. He definitely showed some toughness in the finale, and also had previously taken Jose Aldo into round 3 before losing a featherweight bout in the WEC.

    Watching Brookins, he stood way too straight up and didn’t tuck his chin very well in the standup, but showed really good instincts in the wrestling/ground game.

    Jeremy Stephens has had a real education on the job, and has developed into a good MMA fighter. With several tough defeats in his first several UFC contests, as well as some good wins, he’s had the opportunity that I hope Jonathan Brookins will have, to learn and expand on his skills, seeking better and tougher competition. Stephens will have a good advantage in the standup against Brookins, but Brookins has shown good toughness against strikers previously, so it should be a good match.


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