The headlining fight on the UFC 159 FX preliminary card special took a big hit, as surging bantamweight Erik Perez is out of his fight with TUF 14's Johnny Bedford. Replacing him is Bryan Caraway, as confirmed by Mr. Bedford himself:
Perez's trainer Greg Jackson also tweeted today that a staph infection is the cause of his removal from the card:
Say a prayer for @goyito_perez been in the hospital since Saturday night with severe leg staph infection. Hopping he turns the corner today!— Jackson's MMA (@JacksonsMMA) April 22, 2013
It's certainly a huge blow for Perez, who holds a 3-0 record in the UFC with stoppages in all of those fights. The 23-year-old has won his last 8 bouts overall and just recently signed a new six-fight deal with the UFC.
Caraway (17-6) fought on TUF 14 as a featherweight, but lost to Diego Brandao in the semifinals. That prompted a drop to 135 lbs, where he's beaten Dustin Neace and Mitch Gagnon, but was edged out by Takeya Mizugaki at UFC on Fuel 8. The memorable part of the Mizugaki loss was his girlfriend and UFC women's BW contender Miesha Tate telling him at the end of the 2nd round to "just coast" in the 3rd round. He lost the 3rd on all three judges' scorecards -- one of them even gave the 3rd to Francis Carmont for some reason -- and ultimately lost by split decision.