Despite having become the lightweight winner of the eighth season of The Ultimate Fighter, Efrain Escudero already has finalized plans to jump back into the UFC’s Octagon.
Sources have revealed exclusively to FiveOuncesOfPain.com that Escudero, 11-0, has signed on to face Jeremy Stephens at an upcoming UFC event. It’s believed that the fight will take place during a UFC Fight Night event in April that will precede the season premiere for the ninth season of The Ultimate Fighter.
Escudero, a former NJCAA All-American wrestler, won the 155 pound TUF 8 finals during the show’s live season finale held in Las Vegas on Dec. 13. Facing Phillipe Nover, Escudero took the TUF 8 lightweight crown courtesy of a unanimous decision.
Stephens, 14-3, holds a lifetime record of 3-2 in the UFC and is coming off a win against Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 91 this past November. The Iowa native registered one of the most impressive knockouts of the year when he finished dos Anjos at 0:39 of round 3 when he landed a massive uppercut from an extended distance.
Stephens’ prior wins in the Octagon have come against Cole Miller and Diego Saraiva with his two losses coming against Din Thomas and Spencer Fisher.