Jeremy Stephens will replace Hermes Franca and take on Joe Lauzon in the main event of UFC Fight Night 17 on February 7th in Tampa, Florida.
MMAFrenzy.com confirmed the replacement earlier this evening and Spike TV has since publicly announced the lineup change.
Stephens (16-3) has won four of his last five bouts overall and three of his last four in the UFC. He was most recently in action at UFC 91 in November, scoring a third-round knockout of Rafael dos Anjos that earned him “Knockout of the Night” honors. “Lil Heathen” had been scheduled to fight Efrain Escudero at UFC Fight Night 18 in April prior to filling in for Franca, though that matchup now depends on how much damage he takes against Lauzon.
Lauzon (17-4) has lost just once in his last eight fights, including four wins in the UFC. He last defeated Kyle Bradley via second-round TKO at UFC Fight Night 15 in September.