Lightweight prospect Stevie Ray has been forced to withdraw from his fight on July 8 against Jake Matthews at The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale, the UFC confirmed on Thursday following an initial report by The Daily Telegraph. In Ray's stead, Matthews will take on fellow prospect Kevin Lee, who steps in as a replacement on five weeks' notice.
Lee (12-2) is a 23-year-old former Division II wrestler who has won five of his seven contests inside the Octagon since debuting in 2014.
Nicknamed "The Motown Phenom," Lee saw his four-fight win streak snapped at the hands of Leonardo Santos at UFC 194, but rebounded to pick up a unanimous decision victory over former TUF winner Efrain Escudero in April.
He'll now face Matthews (10-1), a 21-year-old prospect from Australia who has cemented himself as a name to watch with a string of impressive performances since debuting on TUF Nations.
Matthews has won of four of his five UFC contests, all via stoppage. He earned his first ‘Fight of the Night' honor in March with an electric three-round brawl against Johnny Case, which Matthews won in the closing seconds via rear-naked choke.
TUF 23 Finale takes place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event is headlined by a strawweight title fight between UFC champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Claudia Gadelha.
An updated fight card can be seen below.
- Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Claudia Gadelha
- TBA vs. TBA - Light heavyweight TUF 23 finals
- TBA vs. TBA - Strawweight TUF 23 finals
- Ross Pearson vs. James Krause
- Doo Ho Choi vs. Thiago Tavares
- Jake Matthews vs. Kevin Lee
- John Moraga vs. Matheus Nicolau
- Gray Maynard vs. Fernando Bruno
- Cezar Ferreira vs. Anthony Smith
- Joaquim Silva vs. Andrew Holbrook
- Li Jingliang vs. Anton Zafir