"On our feet it’s the same fight. Stephens is a brawler but, once it hits the ground, it’s going to be an entirely different fight. Hermes is a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu; Stephens isn’t as good as him on the ground. He’s going to come out and try to knock me out. He doesn’t want to fight me on the ground. Hermes was a bigger fight but this is a little easier fight for me. I was training since early December for Franca. Someday we will fight, especially after what he’s been saying about me being lucky I’m not fighting him. The change of opponents could have been a problem if the replacement had an entirely different style. Stephens may have quicker hands and he’s tough, but it’ll be a similar fight. It’s going to be a great fight and there’s nothing like headlining a UFC show."
-- The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 5 alum Joe Lauzon comments during a recent media workout about his last minute opponent switch at UFC Fight Night 17 from the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Fla., on Feb. 7. Lauzon was supposed to collide with former number one division contender Hermes Franca in the main event of the Spike TV special, which is scheduled to air at 9 p.m. ET. Franca, however, sustained a serious injury during training and was forced out of the fight. His training partner, Stephens, stepped up to take his place.