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Jeremy Stephens’ camp releases statement explaining fighter’s arrest

This past Friday night, UFC on FX 5 was short two tilts including one involving lightweight Jeremy Stephens. However, “Lil Heathen” didn’t miss his match-up for health or even weight-related reasons, but rather he was arrested earlier in the day for an outstanding warrant in Iowa. Despite the best efforts from the UFC‘s legal team, he was kept in custody and remains there today where he’ll most stay until he is transported back to Des Moines where the charges stand.

Stephens’ management has since released a statement on the matter where they made it clear 26-year old had done little to earn himself a spot in the slammer and was caught completely offguard when police showed up on Friday afternoon.

Check it out below:

“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

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. To be clear, JEREMY WAS NOT INVOLVED IN THIS ASSAULT AT ALL!”


  • Lord Faust says:

    “Nothing to hide.” And yet:

    as the featured guest at the party, Jeremy’s name came up during the police investigation of the assault.

    I doubt very much that is the reason he was arrested on an outstanding felony warrant and denied bail.

  • AlphaOmega says:

    True, but it is fishy that they arrested him a few hrs before his fight, and not earlier in the week when he’d been there the whole time.

  • Brendhan Conlan says:

    On the surface it sounds to me like the officials in Polk County wanted to embarrass Stephens by setting up the arrest when they did.

  • MCM says:

    I too think it sounds a little fishy on the surface, but I have to think that the Polk County Police have bigger fish to fry than Jeremy Stephens. Sure he has some small measure of fame, but it seems awfully strange that and entire county would go through so much trouble just to embarrass Stephens. I think it more plausible that they just didn’t get their paper work squared away until in time. All though, there is a lot about this situation that reeks of laziness at best and a conspiracy at worst.

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Certainly there’s more to the story here that has yet to come to light.

    Any type of arrest warrant is pretty serious stuff; that it was deemed a felony arrest warrant makes matters that much more serious.  A run-of-the-mill fistfight isn’t going to be categoriezed as a “violent crime” to reach felony territory. Whatever went down at this homecoming shindig must have been pretty serious, and the judge who signed/authorized the warrant had to have felt there was probable cause (with some form of evidence provided) of Jeremy’s direct involvement with said crime.

    As for the timing & nature of how the warrant was finally served, it’s tough to guess what led to that. There are hundreds of thousands of outstanding warrants across the country, and Johnny Law typically has a more passive approach in serving those warrants (hope the accused turns himself in, wait for the next opportunity like a traffic stop, etc.). So the fact they did eventually proactively track down Stephens would again suggest this is a serious matter. Given that, and the fact this apparently stems back to 2011, I’d have to think attempt(s) were made along the way to contact Jeremy at least informing him of the fact a warrant had been issued. Maybe that never happened, but I’m guessing it did and either Jeremy missed it or he’s playing dumb.

    But as is always the case, the dude is obviously innocent until proven guilty. There could be a sworn statement from a witness who simply mixed up Jeremey with someone else, or worse yet has some sort of vendetta. Or maybe Jeremy did something really stupid. Who knows. Either way, that part will work itself out thru the court system, and in the meantime it seems unfortunate the timing of this preliminary stuff killed his opportunity to work in his profession this past weekend. Then again, my gut feeling is it’s hard to believe this entire thing was out of the blue for Jeremy, and that he couldn’t have done something sooner to address the matter. But that doesn’t mean it’s been handled well on the other end either. Just gotta hope proper justice is eventually carried out.

  • Lord Faust says:

    Bail’s been set at $100,000. I’m going to take a stab in the dark and guess he isn’t just a “person of interest” regarding a drunken throwdown.

    As for the timing of his arrest… Who cares; they picked a time and place and picked him up when it was convenient.

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Wow… $100K is a huge bail amount even among felony classes. This is serious stuff. Assuming everything does in fact center around an assualt, there would have to be some severe circumstances like a weapon being involved, or very serious injury to victim(s), or perhaps Jeremy has some major red flags on his past criminal record… maybe some combination thereof.

    Hopefully, for his sake, he did somehow get mistakenly dragged into the middle of all this, but tough to imagine it’s all a misunderstanding.

  • Lord Faust says:

    I don’t want to repeat anything unsubstantiated, but if the rumours I read were true, Stephenson is a pretty terrible person and missing a fight will be a small concern in the near future.

  • Richard Stabone says:

    A representative from the Hennepin (Minn.) County court clerk’s office on Tuesday told that Stephens applied for and was granted a public defender and now is being held without bail until his next scheduled court appearance on Oct. 23.

    How the heck does a UFC fighter qualify for a public defender (i.e. judicial welfare)? I know fighter pay aint what it could be, but damn.

    And apparently after today’s preliminary court appearance any bail option is off the table while he’s holed up waiting for his next court date in a couple weeks. He’s gonna miss out on the upcoming weekend of baseball playoffs, college & NFL football, and UFC event with Anderson Silva. That’s rough.


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