Nathan Schulte replaces Jeremy Stevens at second in the PFL World Championship

Nathan Schulte and Jeremy Stevens PFL World Championship 2022
Nathan Schulte and Jeremy Stevens, 2022 PFL Championship Ceremonial Weigh In at The Manhattan Center in New York, New York, Thursday, November 24, 2022. (Cooper Neal/PFL)

After finally getting back into the win column last time out after securing a split decision victory over Myles Price, former UFC fighter Jeremy Stephens faced a significant step up in competition in the form of Natan Schulte in the prelims for the PFL 2022 World Championship.

Stephens, who fought a who’s who of UFC veterans and contenders during his long tenure with the company, was no stranger to fierce competition, mind you. Schulte, meanwhile, was looking to pick up another impressive scalp after winning both the 2018 and 2019 PFL lightweight seasons.

While Stevens had anticipated striking before Friday’s card in New York, Schulte, after an early high kick attempt, took the fight to the ground. Stevens, on his back, was dry and in a bad place; Schulte tried to secure an arm-triangle choke, straddling Stevens but staying in half-guard.

While it was possible to finish from this spot, the choke ran the risk of burning Schulte’s hands and “Lil Heathen” Stevens was able to break free just a little bit – breathing room, barely, but soon Schulte was on his back. Stevens ducked as Schulte landed punches to the side of the head; Schulte rolled Stevens back, then rolled to his back again.

This time, Schulte landed both hooks and went in under the chin, pulling out the choke firmly. Stevens managed to survive and this time crawled back to his feet, landing right hand after right hand as Schulte backed up. They stood up, Stephens dropped to a knee and the bell rang as the end of a one-sided five-minute opener – although the momentum seemed to be shifting.

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That change was stopped in the early seconds of the second round. Again, Schulte landed an early takedown, a clear signal that he didn’t want to risk standing and fighting the hard-hitting Stevens. Instead, he continued to control his opponent on the ground, again locking in an arm triangle choke.

There was no mistaking this time, as Stevens quickly tapped out – giving Nathan Schulte his second straight victory over a UFC veteran, following a June victory against Marcin Held.

Official Result: Nathan Schulte defeated Jeremy Stevens via submission (arm-triangle choke), round 2, 1:32

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