Jeremy Stephens, the loser of three straight who is still embroiled in legal woes for what Polk County, Iowa, police say was his role in an alleged assault, will fight again in the octagon.
Stephens is dropping down to featherweight in order to fight Estevan Payan. The match is set for UFC 160, the promotion's Memorial Day weekend show at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
"Lil Heathen" has lost consecutive matches to Anthony Pettis, Donald Cerrone and Yves Edwards, respectively. His most recent fight was the loss to Edwards, which came via first-round knockout.
That match had to be rescheduled after Stephens was arrested on the morning of their scheduled October 5 date in Minneapolis. While UFC officials worked to assist Stephens in getting released from jail, they were unsuccessful. He was eventually extradited to Iowa to face the charges, and later released on bail.
Stephens was charged with two felonies and a misdemeanor in connection with an assault case from 2011. Police sources told The Des Moines Register that in the incident, the victim was beaten so badly that he lost consciousness, stopped breathing twice and went to the hospital in critical condition.
Stephens continues to maintain his innocence, saying that while he was at the bar where the incident took place, he was not involved.
His opponent Payan will be making his UFC debut after going 2-0 in Strikeforce. Payan is 14-3 overall and hasn't lost in his last eight fights dating back to 2009.
UFC 160 will be headlined by a heavyweight title matchup of champion Cain Velasquez against challenger Antonio Silva.