The 5-foot-11, 170-pounder will take on Joe Heink out of Louisville (Ky.). Heink is 5-1 in six pro fights, but hasn’t had a pro fight in nearly a year, and is coming off his first career loss in his last bout.
“(Heink) is a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and he trains under Pablo Povovitch, the No. 1-ranked jiu-jitsu fighter in the world,” explained Stephens, who recently joined the wrestling team at Lindsay Wilson College (Ky.) “He’s a good fighter, but I’m feeling good. He’s probably going to want to take the fight to the ground, but I have a wrestling background, so I’m ok with that. I really don’t have a strategy. I train to fight, so I’ll go wherever the fight goes.”
Stephens did say he knew a little more of what to expect, having a pro fight now under his belt. He won his pro debut back in July 9 with a three-round unanimous decision over Ryan Quinn.
“In some ways, it’s a little easier this time around,” he said. “But I’m going to school Monday through Friday, then driving home to train on the weekends, so it’s been a little hectic.”
As far as wrestling goes, Stephens said he had planned to redshirt this season, but may be taking the mat after Lindsay Wilson’s starting 174-pounder decided to not to wrestle this season.
Stephens wrestled last year as a freshman at Tennessee Temple in Chattanooga, where he won the 184-pound National Collegiate Wrestling Association championship.
“I’ll probably wrestle this semester, then maybe take another fight or two over the summer,” he said. “I didn’t know if I was going to be able to take this fight or not. It was kind of up in the air for a while, but I finally got it all talked out with my wrestling coach.”
A viewing party for the fight will be held at 807 Fire and Ice on Market Street in Chattanooga, beginning at 9 p.m.