WATCH: UFC fighters in heated hotel altercation after eye-poke scandal in Mexico
An unintentional eye-poke by Rodriguez on Stephens just 15 seconds into the pair’s bout at UFC Fight Night 159 in Mexico City forced the action to be paused, before referee Herb Dean ruled the bout a no-contest as Stephens' eye still appeared swollen and shut even after he had used up the five-minute injury-time allowance.Also on rt.com Crowd throws bottles at the cage as UFC Mexico main event ruled a no-contest after 15 seconds (VIDEO)
That prompted fans to pelt the octagon and the departing Stephens with bottles and other objects as they made their anger clear at the result.
And it has now emerged that tensions spilled over between the featherweight contenders themselves when they encountered one another at the fighters’ hotel on Sunday.
Footage shared online shows Stephens shoving Rodriguez before they trade barbs – including homophobic slurs.
WARNING: VIDEO CONTAINS LANGUAGE SOME READERS MAY FIND OFFENSIVE
“You’re a f*cking p*ssy, bro,” Stephens is heard saying to his Mexican rival.
“You’re going to have to live with that for the rest of your f*cking life,” Rodriguez responds.
“I swear to god, we’ll run it right back,” says Stephens, before the Mexican replies: “I won yesterday.”
“You poked me in the eye, f*ggot,” the American then says, prompting the same slur from Rodriguez.
Stephens is then heard shouting “I’ll see you soon, mother*cker,” before eventually walking away.Also on rt.com UFC commentator hides under a table as fans shower cage with bottles following UFC Mexico no-contest (VIDEO)
Given the simmering animosity, the UFC appears likely to face pressure to green-light a rematch between the pair, in the hopes that this time the hostilities will be allowed to run their due course in the octagon.
Iowa native Stephens, 33, stands at 28-16 in pro MMA, and was looking to bounce back against Rodriguez after suffering defeat to rising Russian contender Zabit Magomedsharipov at UFC 235 back in March.
'El Pantera' Rodriguez, 26, stands 11-2 in his career and was aiming for victory in what was his first outing since defeating 'Korean Zombie' Chan Sung Jung with an incredible last-second KO at UFC Fight Night 139 almost one year ago.Also on rt.com UFC fighters display brutal facial injuries, mutual respect in hospital bed picture (PHOTO)