Longtime UFC lightweight fighter Jeremy Stephens has announced his intention to shed some weight and drop down a class in 2013.
"Lil Heathen's" new landing spot will be the featherweight division, a transition from a fighting weight of 155 pounds to 145 pounds.
Stephens' move comes on the heels of former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar, who recently made the same jump earlier this year.
According to Stephens' manager Ryan Hass, who spoke to MMA Junkie about the decision, the newest addition to the UFC's featherweight stable will be looking to make his mark on the division sometime next spring.
It shouldn't be a problem and [we're] looking for a fight by March. His last couple fights have been on short notice, so he's looking to get a full camp with a nutritionist and tweak his training to bring up his speed, but not lose any muscle or power. He'll be a contender at 145 quick. He likes 155 and it was never his idea to drop, but after consideration, he's pumped about it.
Stephens has been a UFC lightweight mainstay since September, 2007. Since that time he has compiled an even 7-7 record, but is currently reeling from three straight losses. Most recently, he suffered the first knockout defeat of his career, losing in the first round to Yves Edwards at UFC on Fox 5.
Whether or not the move will put an end to his current woes remains to be seen. But one thing is for certain. There won't be many who can match Stephens for power at 145 if he can make the cut without sacrificing too much.