The Ultimate Fighter 8 lightweight winner Efrain Escudero will make his octagon return in April according to FiveOuncesofPain.com. The news is that he will be fighting tough UFC veteran Jeremy Stephens. This is a tough entry into the lightweight division for Escudero who jumps right in. A victory here would catapolt him way up into the division.
There is some debate over what event this will take place at. FiveOuncesofPain said it was the UFC Fight Night on April 18th, but that cannot be right as that is the date set for UFC 97. MMAJunkie called the event UFN 19, however there is not a UFC Fight Night 18 in between. I would assume it willbe UFN 18 unless the UFC adds a fight night in March. Regardless, the event will surely kick off the Ultimate Fighter 9.
Escudero was the surprise winner of TUF 8. He beat out the guy that was widely considered to be the next “Anderson Silva” in Phillipe Nover. He looked impressive on the reality show walking through Ido Pariente, Shane Nelson and Junie Browning.
Jeremy Stephens is a tough opponent who has dangerous striking. Stephens is coming off of a highlight reel KO of Rafael dos Anjos. Should be an interesting bout to watch in what will be a bout between strike and grappler.
Look for many of the other TUF 8 competitors to make it on this card as well.