Jeremy Stephens entered the PFL with high hopes.
But after a loss in his debut, the former UFC contender will need to be on top of his game this Friday night at PFL 4.
The regular season for the PFL returns this weekend live on ESPN and ESPN+ with action in the light heavyweight and lightweight ranks. Clay Collard and Alexander Martinez headline with Stephens meeting Myles Price.
Also, Antonio Carlos Junior and Raush Manfio, both former champions, are in action. Carlos battles Bruce Souto and Manfio meets Olivier Aubin-Mercier.
But for Stephens, this is a critical fight.
Last year, the likes of Anthony Pettis and Fabricio Werdum both had troubles early on navigating the waters of the PFL. The 36-year-old Iowa native found much the same at PFL 1 in April, dropping a decision to Collard.
While landing one of the qualifying spots for the next round could be a tough ask, just getting a win would be important for Stephens. He has dropped his last four and is winless in his last seven overall.
During his career, Stephens has earned wins over the likes of former UFC champion Renan Barao, former Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez, Dennis Bermudez and Darren Elkins. He has also shared the cage with Charles Oliveira, Cub Swanson, Frankie Edgar and Max Holloway.
Needless to say, this is a man who knows how to fight and knows what he needs to do when placed with his back against a wall.