UFC’s Jeremy “Lil’ Heathen” Stephens may have dropped a unanimous decision in front of a jam packed AT&T Center in San Antonio Saturday night in front of everyone in attendance, but many were won over by his humbling post fight speech inside the cage and at the post fight conference. In 2012, “Lil Heathen” made a special trip down to San Antonio to make guest appearance for the Wounded Warriors Program at the Lackland Air Force base. The trip down to Texas was a moment that Stephens may never forget, and found it truly inspiring upon making his return back to San Antonio, Texas. When asked to touch a little bit more on the subject by the Guardian Liberty Voice, UFC’s Jeremy Stephens provided a little more insight on his trip down south.
“I came out here and visited the Wounded Warriors Program, and did a seminar in Lackland for like 1,000 troops. Just been around all over the base, and it was just awesome, it really changed my life. Visiting the troops that come back home with their limbs blown off visiting their moms and dads sitting right there with them, and they are excited to meet us and telling us thank you; but really it’s thanks to them, and it really changed my life. It was during my three fight losing streak and it just touched me man, it was beautiful.”
The Lackland Air Force Base has been active in San Antonio since 1941, and is currently still holding strong. Lackland is best known for its basic training and only sole location for such training for the U.S. Air Force, Air Force Reserve, and the Air Force National Guard. UFC fighters made their first trip to Lackland in 2011. The following year Jeremy Stephens joined with the likes of Shane Del Rosario, Ian McCall, Francisco Rivera, and Giva Santana to travel around to various bases throughout south Texas. Stephens went a little further in depth, and expressed how honored he was to return to a place that touched his heart.
“It was an honor to come back here to San Antonio; the fans here are great, the Hispanic crowd is amazing, it was an honor to come back and fight for them and leave it all out there. It’s cool to have a good opponent like Cub Swanson, the dude is a beast; and we put it out there for you guys.”
It is always great to hear the positive, even through a tough defeat. Jeremy Stephens may feel touched by his experience and possibly provided a life changing experience, but the feeling should almost certainly be mutual. These soldiers put their lives on the line every single day for the freedom of the United States, and having some of their favorite UFC fighters come visit them when they need the positive reinforcement the most. It provides a special moment not just for Stephens, but the troops stationed in San Antonio as well.
Commentary by Justin Huffman
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Guardian Liberty Voice Sports Writer leading the coverage in MMA