Stephens Steps in for Franca at FN 17

Written by Tom Ngo
January 27th, 2009

It is being reported that Jeremy Stephens will be replacing Hermes Franca at “UFC Fight Night 17” on February 7th to take on Joe Lauzon. Stephens has won four of his last five bouts, including his most recent win over Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 91.

The UFC has yet to make an official announcement regarding Fanca’s injury, nor have they confirmed Stephens’ participation at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Florida. However, MMAJunkie.com was able to confirm the bout with sources close to Stephens.

Franca announced yesterday on the Underground Forums that he had torn the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

“To all my fans: unfortunately, I am not (going to) be able to fight (at) UFC 17 in Tampa Florida,” wrote the disappointed Franca. “I just tore my ACL on my right knee last Saturday. I think you guys deserve to hear that from me.”

Stephens is also scheduled to fight “The Ultimate Fighter 8” winner Efrain Escudero at “UFC Fight Night 18.” If he is able to escape from his about against Lauzon unscathed, he will pull double duty and keep his April 1st commitment as well.

Here is how the fight card shakes out:

Preliminary Bouts:

Steve Bruno vs. Matthew Riddle
Luigi Fioravanti vs. Anthony Johnson
Rich Clementi vs. Gleison Tibau
Matt Grice vs. George Sotiropoulos
Jake Rosholt vs. Dan Miller
Rob Emerson vs. Kurt Pellegrino

Main Bouts:

Nick Catone vs.TBD
Joe Lauzon vs. Jeremy Stephens
Mac Danzig vs. Josh Neer
Denis Stojnic vs. Cain Velasquez

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