Two featherweights looking to rebound from recent losses will throw down at July 11’s blockbuster UFC 189 pay-per-view (PPV) from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

No. 6-ranked Dennis “The Menace” Bermudez has signed on to face No. 11 Jeremy Stephens in a bout that will be crucial for both fighters in what may be the hottest division in all of UFC.

Bermudez recently saw an impressive seven-fight win streak disappear when former title challenger Ricardo Lamas put him away with a shocking first round guillotine at the promotion’s Mexico debut of UFC 180. He had looked unstoppable during his post-The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 14 run, but fell quickly when faced with top opposition.

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Stephens has also seen better times, as the Iowa native dropped his last two bouts against Charles Oliveira and Cub Swanson by decision. The former was a catchweight bout after “Do Bronx” missed weight at the TUF 20 Finale last December, and the latter was a “Fight of the Night”-winning contest at last June’s UFC Fight Night 44 from San Antonio.

Before those two defeats, Stephens also appeared to be a force at 145 pounds, winning three straight bouts over Estevan Payan, Rony Jason, and Darren Elkins to hear his name whispered among as a future title contender at featherweight.

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But the division has absolutely exploded in the last year thanks to the insane popularity of Irish title challenger Conor McGregor, and Stephens hasn’t picked a win in that time frame.

That means that “Lil’ Heathen’s” bout with “The Menace” will be must-win if they want to stay afloat in the quickly expanding 145-pound arena, a dynamic that adds even more intrigue to the packed card.

Featherweight champ Jose Aldo will battle McGregor in their long-awaited grudge match in the main event of UFC 189, while welterweight champion Robbie Lawler takes on Rory MacDonald for the belt in the co-main event.

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Photo Credit: Rafael Suanes-US PRESSWIRE


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