UFC 159 Alert: Erik Perez out, Bryan Caraway in on short notice against Johnny Bedford

A late change has been made to Saturday’s UFC 159 event as the originally scheduled featured preliminary bout has been changed due to an injury. Erik Perez (13-4, 3-0) has been hospitalized with a severe staph infection in his leg, which has fprced him to pull out of his scheduled fight against Johnny Bedford (19-9-1, 2-0 UFC). Stepping in on just five days’ notice to fight Bedford will be Bryan Caraway (17-6, 2-1 UFC).

Bedford announced the news on his Twitter page on Monday afternoon, and UFC officials later confirmed the news.

Perez was looking to remain undefeated in the UFC after scoring three stoppage wins in 2012. He submitted John Albert at The Ultimate Fighter 15 Finale in June, and followed that with back-to-back knockout wins over Ken Stone at UFC 150 in August and Byron Bloodworth at UFC 155 in December.

Bedford puts his three-fight win streak on the line against Caraway. Bedford was a semifinalist on season 14 of “The Ultimate Fighter”, losing to eventual champion John Dodson on the reality show. He debuted at The Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale in December 2011, scoring a knockout win over Louis Gaudinot. Injuries kept him out of the Octagon until this past December, when he returned and scored a knockout win over Marcos Vinicius at The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale.

Caraway was last seen at UFC On FUEL TV 8 in March where he lost a close split decision to Takeya Mizugaki. It was the first UFC loss for the “TUF 14” alum who scored submission wins over Dustin Neace and Mitch Gagnon in his first two trips to the Octagon. Caraway and Bedford were teammates on Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller’s team on “TUF 14”.

UFC 159 takes place on Saturday night from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The main card airs on pay-per-view with prelims airing on FX and Facebook. Jon Jones defends the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship against Chael Sonnen in the night’s main event.

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Source: Johnny Bedford