2021 looks to be the year UFC Featherweight contender Jeremy Stephens makes his return to the Lightweight division with rumors pointing to a match against Drakkar Klose.
According to MMA Junkie, multiple sources confirmed that the match had been booked for the UFC’s April 17th card.
Drakkar Klose was initially set to face off against Luis Pena on February 20, however, the bout was canceled on the day of the event due to a positive COVID test. Outside of this booking, Klose has not competed since UFC 248 where he took on top Lightweight contender Beniel Dariush. This fight did not go Klose’s way ending a three-fight winning streak that he had put together.
Stephens’s last outing was at UFC 249 where he faced off against Clavin Kattar. Similarly, in this matchup, Stephens was defeated by TKO and has taken some time off since. Currently, Stephens is sitting on a four-fight losing streak and this change in division looks to be a move to gain a fresh start without the weight cut. In his bout with Kattar, Stephens missed weight on the scales and ultimately was forced to hand over a portion of his purse to compete.
The last time Stephens competed at Lightweight was against Yves Edwards in December of 2012. This loss was also part of a three-fight losing streak that included names such as Donald Cerrone and Anthony Pettis. Upon moving to Featherweight Stephens put together three wins in a row before losing his first fight in the division.
The April 17 card is set to be headlined by former UFC Middleweight champion Robert Whittaker taking on former title contender Paulo Costa. Outside of this matchup, the card also has five other fights believed to be confirmed for the event.
How do you see Stephens going in his return to the Lighweight divison?