Jake Paul vs. Nate Diaz to include Jeremy Stephens

'Lil Heathen' Jeremy Stephens will jump into the ring in August and feature on the undercard for Jake Paul vs. Nate Diaz.

By: Jack Wannan | 3 months ago

Nate Diaz won’t be the only name representing MMA on the night that he is expected to box Jake Paul in two months. It was announced Wednesday that UFC vet Jeremy Stephens will also lace up the boxing gloves for a match against Chris Avila

The matchup, which is joining a card on August 5 from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, was revealed by Avila during an appearance on The MMA Hour.

Jeremy Stephens to make second boxing appearance

The bout joining the Paul vs. Diaz card will be the second time that Stephens has competed in boxing. He made his pro debut in April, facing former UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo in an eight-round bout. Stephens is still in search of that first victory in boxing, as his appearance against Aldo resulted in a majority draw on scorecards.

Stephens has fought at a high level of MMA since 2007. He has struggled greatly in recent years, putting together just one victory through nine appearances since 2018. He departed the UFC roster in 2021, moving to the PFL after a lengthy, multi-decade run in the top MMA promotion. Stephens fought three times for them last year, attaining one win in those appearances.

Former UFC, Bellator talent Avila looks to keep boxing momentum going

Jeremy Stephens’ opponent Chris Avila also has experience in MMA, having fought for the UFC and Bellator in the past. He started to focus more heavily on boxing just over a year ago, beginning appearing twice on the undercard of Paul fights.

In 2021, Avila went eight rounds against fellow MMA talent Anthony Taylor for a majority decision win. And last year, he faced Mikhail Varshavski – also known by his Youtube name “Doctor Mike” – and picked up a unanimous decision after four rounds of action.

Avila’s last appearance was on an “MF & DAZN X Series” card, where he beat Paul Bamba.

When discussing the matchup on The MMA Hour, Avila mentioned that he thinks Stephens is a good matchup to showcase his skills as a fighter currently. “That’s a good opportunity to show everybody the level I’m on,” he said.

What is currently set for Jake Paul vs. Nate Diaz

There are now three matches booked for the Paul vs. Diaz card. Of course, the highest-up match on that show is the bout between Paul and Diaz, which is now expected to be 10 rounds.

The big attraction around the fight is how Paul will attempt to bounce back from his first pro loss in boxing, which came against Tommy Fury in February. Prior to that defeat, Paul gained notoriety as an influencer-turned-boxer that had maintained attention by continuing to string together wins. He has prevailed six times as a pro, including victories over MMA names like Anderson Silva, Tyron Woodley, and Ben Askren.

Diaz will be making his first major appearance since departing the UFC roster last year, ending a relationship that started back in 2007 and has taken up most of his pro career thus far. His final fight for the promotion came at UFC 279 last September when he submitted Tony Ferguson in the fourth round with a guillotine choke. Later this year, Diaz will try to ride the momentum of what was his first MMA victory since 2019.

The card is also expected to include a bout between Amanda Serrano and Heather Hardy for the undisputed featherweight championship. Despite not being the main event, Serrano and Hardy are certainly the most decorated boxers on the card, sharing a combined 68 wins and only four losses between them. They also find themselves in the rare position of being in a unified title bout, as Serrano currently holds belts from the IBF, IBO, WBA, WBC, and WBO.

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About the author
Jack Wannan
Jack Wannan

Jack Wannan is a reporter for Bloody Elbow. He joined the site in 2023 after previously writing for MMA-Prospects.com and Knockdown News. He is currently in the process of earning a bachelor's degree in journalism at Toronto Metropolitan University.

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