After knockout losses in their most recent outings, Drakkar Klose and Jeremy Stephens will fight to get back in the win column.
Klose and Stephens are booked for a lightweight contest at an UFC event scheduled for April 17, multiple people with knowledge of the booking told MMA Fighting following an initial report from MMA Junkie. The event’s location and venue have not yet been confirmed.
The bout marks Stephens’ first octagon appearance as a lightweight in nine years. After a knockout loss to Yves Edwards in 2012, he moved down to the featherweight division, where rattled off three wins before his first stumble. From there, scorecards were mostly the problem for Stephens, who lost seven of his 145-pound bouts when decisions went the other way. In the past three years, however, he has been stopped twice, once via body shot against ex-champ Jose Aldo and most recently via knockout in a fight against Calvin Kattar. At UFC 249 this past May, Kattar stopped him with a brutal elbow and punches.
Klose has less than half Stephens’ octagon experience, but is also nursing a comeback after Beneil Dariush stopped him in a wild brawl at UFC 248 this past March. The setback left him at 5-2. Stephens’ record, meanwhile, stands at 15-17.
The April 17 event is expected to be headlined by a middleweight clash between ex-champ Robert Whittaker and one-time title challenger Paulo Costa.