It appears UFC lightweight Jeremy Stephens will be making the jump down to the featherweight division, where Jose Aldo is reigned for many years now. This news come via UFC Tonight’s Twitter page:
— UFC Tonight (@UFCTonight) February 27, 2013
Stephens has always had power in his hands, which can be seen with his impressive win over Rafael dos Anjos. In this bout, Stephens landed one of the most devastating uppercuts in UFC history. Stephens has lost three straight in the UFC’s lightweight division, so this move down in weight is a good decision. He will be able to compete against fighters that smaller, giving him a strength advantage.
Stephens has always had the KO power, so this will translate well at featherweight. In his first featherweight bout, he will be taking on Estevan Payan, who has has looked great in the Strikeforce organization. A win for Stephens will be big, and it might just end up saving him from being cut by the organization. The UFC has recently gone through a transitional period, causing a bit of an uproar by letting go of some standout fighters like Jon Fitch and Jacob Volkmann.
Stephens is just one of many fighters who have transitioned from the lightweight division to featherweight. Fighters like Clay Guida and Frankie Edgar all have made this jump down, so this division is rapidly becoming better by each month.
If Stephens is able to defeat Payan in decisive fashion, he puts his name right up there along the likes of Dustin Poirier and Cub Swanson.