Less than three weeks after being booked to face Yves Edwards and UFC on Fuel 3 it looks like lightweight Donald Cerrone has a new opponent after Edwards went down in training with an undisclosed injury. However, it appears likely fans will still be treated to the same highly-entertaining affair many expected when the two were first paired, as strike-centric competitor Jeremy Stephens will fill the vacancy created by Edwards’ withdrawal.

News of the change was first reported by MMAJunkie.

Like Cerrone, Stephens is coming off a decision loss despite a far more spirited effort than the one “Cowboy” turned in against Nate Diaz at UFC 141. The heavy-handed 25-year old was narrowly outpointed by Anthony Pettis in October and hasn’t fought since meaning he will have been on the sidelines for more than six months when he finally meets Cerrone for their May 15 match-up. Stephens holds an overall record of 20-7 with fourteen TKOs to his credit including those in wins over Cole Miller, Rafael dos Anjos, and Marcus Davis.

UFC on Fuel 3 is set to take place in Fairfax, Virginia with the card comprised of fights such as Mike Easton vs. Yves Jabouin and Dustin Poirier vs. Chan Sung Jung.


MMATraining Take: This is one of the rare times where an injury has produced a comparable if not better fight, as Stephens-Cerrone is guaranteed to be straight up fire throughout. Cerrone is much better than Stephens on the ground but lacks his knockout power so it should be interesting to see how “Cowboy” approaches the bout stylistically since he’s known for his love of a good stand-up war.