Morning Report: Drakkar Klose nearly retired over Jeremy Stephens’ shove: ‘I’m still not 100 percent’

Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

A year after Drakkar Klose’s canceled Jeremy Stephens bout, he’s still feeling the effects of the weigh-in shove that called things off in the first place.

Klose, 34, has had three fight cancelations since his Mar. 2020 epic with Beneil Dariush. Looking to rebound off the second-round knockout loss, the South Haven, Michigan native will return against Brandon Jenkins at UFC Vegas 51 this Saturday night. Unfortunately for Klose, he admits to not being fully fit to compete.

Stephens’ shove at UFC Vegas 24’s official weigh-ins left Klose unable to make the walk the night after as he suffered a cervical sprain of the neck and a concussion. Heading into this upcoming fight, Klose has revealed that he was worried he may never fight again at all.

“The damage was done, I’m still not 100 percent from that. It’s something I will probably need surgery on eventually,” Klose told “I told myself if I have to get surgery, I’m just going to call it quits. Just trying to manage it and do the therapy and all that. I did think that was going to be the end of me. I was having really bad headaches, dealing with my neck issue, it is something serious. When I saw my doctor he talked about fusing my neck and I didn’t want to hear that. I want to go out on my terms, I don’t want to go out with the doctor telling me I can’t do this. It was a herniated disc, C6, C7, as soon as it happened my whole arm went numb, and later that night, things weren’t right and I woke up couldn’t open my eyes, a real bad headache.”

Klose’s loss to Dariush was only the second in his 14-fight career. With wins over names like Bobby Green, Lando Vannata, and Marc Diakiese, Klose has shown real signs of promise inside the octagon.

When it comes to sympathy received from the promotion, Klose didn’t feel much was received. Instead, it was more of the opposite.

“There is a lot of other stuff that I will probably say when I’m done fighting but they pay me so I will keep my mouth shut,” Klose said. “They ended up giving me my show money but they never said anything to me. To me, it’s kind of ridiculous, he really f***** me up. I remember driving home from that fight and I was crying, I don’t know why I was crying but my head was so messed up. It’s a business for them, they don’t care it’s all numbers for them, when I’m gone someone else will be in my spot.”


Revenge. Gilbert Burns wants rematch with Khamzat Chimaev after he was denied five-round fight.

Motivation. Corey Anderson reveals the advice Daniel Cormier gave him that changed his career trajectory forever.

Legendary. Cub Swanson ‘blown away’ by UFC Hall of Fame induction.

Return. Alexander Volkanovski: Henry Cejudo ‘still needs to prove himself in our division’ even if he rejoins USADA.

Beef. Belal Muhammad would still love to get a shot at Colby Covington.


UFC Vegas 51 and Bellator 277 Preview.

Top Finishes: Vicent Luque.

RIZIN Rewind with Johnny Case.

Meet the Fighter: Spike Carlyle.

Don’t mess with Pitbull.

UFC 273 Fight Motion.

Jake Paul talks with Teddy Atlas.

Bobby Green on JRE.


Between the Links. MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck and Jed Meshew discuss the UFC 273 fallout, Bellator 277 vs. UFC Vegas 51, and Henry Cejudo’s comeback.


Sincere apologies.

Well isn’t there egg on my face…congrats mate, I have recently had a perspective change.

— Robert Whittaker (@robwhittakermma) April 14, 2022

Fresh ink.

Just signed my new contract with the @ufc. Iron Lady is here to stay ❤️

— Maryna Moroz (@MarynaMoroz1) April 14, 2022

It continues.

‍♂️ You think I give a shit about someone not agreeing with me? You and josh are CONSTANTLY disrespectful to us fighters. That’s where you both annoy me. Especially Josh, as a former high level athlete

You wanna try to take the high road now? Please look in the mirror Mr Perfect

— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) April 14, 2022

Good news for Kevin.

No surgery on my knee. I’ll be ready to go into training camp this summer.

— Kevin MTP Lee (@MoTownPhenom) April 15, 2022

Careful with that man, Davion. He’s been through a lot!

So I stopped by the @JacksonWinkMMA gym and @BellatorMMA heavyweight @DavionGoAllDay picked me up like I was a child! @drbeauhightower

— Mick Foley (@RealMickFoley) April 15, 2022



Final refinements.


Jordan Wright (12-2) vs. Marc-Andre Barriault (13-5), UFC Vegas 52, Apr. 23

Damir Ismagulov (23-1) vs. Guram Kuteteladze (12-2), UFC Fight Night, June 18

Neil Magny (26-8) vs. Shavkat Rokhmonov (15-0); UFC Fight Night, June 25

Tagir Ulanbekov (13-2) vs. Tyson Nam (20-12-1); UFC Fight Night, June 25

Antonina Shevchenko (9-4) vs. Cortney Casey (10-9); UFC Fight Night, July 9

Cynthia Calvillo (9-4-1) vs. Nina Nunes (10-7); UFC Fight Night, July 9


RIZIN 35 is the best event this weekend and it’s not even close. Happy Friday! Thanks for reading and enjoy the great weekend of action!


If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @DrakeRiggs_ on Twitter and let him know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and like us on Facebook.

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