Erik Perez vs. Johnny Bedford targeted for UFC 159

USA TODAY Sports

A bantamweight bout pitting upstart Mexican prospect Erik Perez (13-4) against TUF 14 alum Johnny Bedford (19-9-1) has been targeted for UFC 159. Bedford announced the match-up via Twitter on Wednesday.

UFC 159 takes place April 27, 2013 at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. Jon Jones defends his UFC light heavyweight title against fellow TUF 17 coach Chael Sonnen in the night's main event.

In a division known for high decision rates, both Perez and Bedford have proven to be capable finishers. The pair carry a combined 5-0 record inside the UFC, with all five bouts ending before the final horn.

Perez, a 23-year-old Jackson's MMA product renowned for his luchador mask, has strung together three straight first-round finishes, submitting John Albert in his UFC debut, before knocking out Ken Stone and Byron Bloodworth in succession, the latter of which required just 17 seconds.

Likewise, the 30-year-old Bedford has ripped through two straight opponents, knocking out both Louis Gaudinot and Marcos Vinicius since falling to John Dodson in the semi-finals of TUF 14.

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