Justin Buchholz is in talks to face Jeremy Stephens in a lightweight bout at UFC Fight Night 19 from the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City, Okla., after an undisclosed injury has forced Ronny Torres to withdraw from the upcoming event on September 16.
MMAmania.com was informed of the change earlier today -- bout agreements were recently distributed but have yet to be signed.
Buchholz stands at 1-2 inside the Octagon. After dropping a first-round submission loss to Matt Wiman at UFC Fight Night 12 in his UFC debut, the Sacramento native made some noise in the division by choking out Corey Hill at UFC 86 "Jackson vs. Griffin" last July.
He failed to capitalize on that momentum however when the super-tough Terry Etim wrapped up a fight ending Brabo choke in the second round of their scrap at UFC 99 just over a month ago.
He'll need a big win against Stephens if he expects to be considered for future events.
"Lil' Heathen" stands at an even 4-4 in the UFC. He filled in for his mentor, Hermes Franca, when he was scratched from a fight against Joe Lauzon at UFC Fight Night 17. The heavy-handed fighter out of Iowa went on to lose the fight via second round submission (armbar).
He followed that up with a tough decision loss to Brazilian jiu-jitsu stud Gleison Tibau at UFC Fight Night 18 back in April.
Despite his back-to-back losses, fans have still not forgotten his "Knockout of the Night" at UFC 91: "Couture vs. Lesnar" when he sent Rafael dos Anjos back to Brazil with a thundering uppercut that he threw from what appeared to be the center of the cage.
It was among the most devastating finishes of 2008.
Stephens has really stepped up his training in anticipation of this event, calling on Josh Neer and Diego Sanchez to help refine every aspect of his offense and defense.
It's sure to pay off come fight night.
The main event of the evening will see TUF 5 winner Nate Diaz get a chance to break out of an 0-2 slump when he tangles with Melvin "The Young Assassin" Guillard. It is also expected to feature a lightweight rumble between Roger "El Matador" Huerta and Gray "The Bully" Maynard.
UFC Fight Night 19 will serve as the lead-in for the upcoming tenth season of TUF, which features Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson and a solid collection of 15 other heavyweight fighters competing in a tournament-style format to earn one "six-figure contract."