JEREMY STEPHENS REPLACES INJURED HERMES FRANCA AND WILL SQUARE OFF WITH JOE LAUZON TO HEADLINE FIRST EVER “UFC FIGHT NIGHT” IN TAMPA
New York, NY, December 19, 2008 – With Hermes Franca sidelined due to injury, Jeremy Stephens has stepped up to take his place to fight Joe Lauzon in what should be an action packed battle in the UFC’s lightweight division at Spike TV’s Live “UFC Fight Night,” which will emanate from the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, FL on Saturday, February 7 from 9:00 – 11:00 PM, ET/PT.
Stephens (14-3), who had been helping Franca train for the bout, made his Octagon™ debut in May 2007 at UFC 71, dropping his first contest via submission due to armbar against Din Thomas. Since then, Stephens is 3-1 in the UFC, with his only loss a tough decision at the hands of Spencer Fisher in June 2008 at “The Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale.” Most recently, Stephens defeated of Rafael dos Anjos via TKO at UFC 91 in November, which was one of the most explosive fight finishes of 2008. Despite taking it on short notice, he’ll look to end this bout in similar style.
Standing across the cage from Stephens will be Joe Lauzon (16-4). Lauzon made an impressive debut in the UFC with a knockout over Jens Pulver at UFC 63 in September 2006. Lauzon, from suburban Boston, gained further acclaim as a standout fighter on “The Ultimate Fighter 5.” However, his road to a UFC title shot hit a speed bump when he dropped a matchup to current #1 lightweight contender Kenny Florian this past April. Lauzon rebounded with a win against Kyle Bradley in September, and is determined to continue his ascent in the UFC’s lightweight division against Franca.