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Erik Perez out of UFC 159, Bryan Caraway replaces him against Johnny Bedford

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

A leg infection has forced surging UFC bantamweight Erik Perez out of this weekend's UFC 159 event. On short notice, Bryan Caraway has stepped in to replace him against Johnny Bedford.

The UFC confirmed the opponent swap on Monday.

Perez (13-4) has won all three of his UFC bouts by finish, with knockout wins over Byron Bloodworth and Ken Stone, as well as a submission over John Albert. None of his bouts have gone past the first round. As of now, there is no timetable set for his recovery and return.

In Bedford, he would have been replacing another fighter who has yet to lose in the UFC. He's 2-0 with knockouts over Marcos Vinicius and Louis Gaudinot. Bedford has won eight of his last nine fights overall.

Instead, Caraway takes the assignment, attempting to rebound from a close split-decision over Takeya Mizugaki at UFC on FUEL 8, held just last month. Caraway is 17-6 overall, and 2-1 in the UFC, and has just six days to prepare for the matchup.

He does have some familiarity with Bedford, as the two were teammates on season 14 of The Ultimate Fighter, but competed in different weight classes. Caraway was a featherweight who dropped to 135 in 2012.

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