Grizzled UFC lightweight Jeremy Stephens (16-5) -- not Efrain Escudero -- will try to string together back-to-back wins inside the Octagon when he faces Nik Lentz (17-3-1) at UFC Fight Night 20, which is tentatively scheduled to take place in Fairfax, Virginia on Jan. 11, 2010.
MMAmania.com was informed of the change to our original report earlier today — bout agreements were recently distributed but have yet to be signed. Escudero is still expected to compete on the main card against a yet-to-be-named opponent.
"Lil’ Heathen" recently improved his record to 5-4 in the UFC. He was last seen pounding out Justin Buchholz at UFC Fight Night 19 in Oklahoma City back on Sept. 16 after dropping two straight to Hermes Franca and Gleison Tibau, respectively.
Despite those back-to-back losses, fans have 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.
Lentz is on a eight-fight win streak that dates back more than two years. He is a Minnesota Martial Arts Academy product who has competed primarily on the local circuit for most of his career.
"The Carnie" recently scored a unanimous decision win over Rafaello Oliveira in his Octagon debut at UFC 103: "Franklin vs. Belfort" back on Sept. 19 and also outpointed UFC veteran Drew Fickett at SNMMA: "Beatdown at 4 Bears" to make a name for himself earlier this year.
A win over Stephens would undoubtedly leapfrog him into bigger opportunities — and some very stiff competition.
Stay dialed in to MMAmania.com for more on UFC Fight Night 20 as additional details emerge in the near future.