An exciting tilt in the Ultimate Fighting Championship's featherweight division will have to wait a bit longer to go down.
MMA Junkie was the first to report this news on Thursday. Jeremy Stephens (28-17, 1 NC) and Calvin Kattar (20-4) were slated to meet at UFC 248 in March, but Stephens has reportedly suffered an injury and the fight has been removed from the card. The matching will stay intact, and the two will meet at a later date to-be-determined. This is the second main card bout in two days to fall off this event, with Robert Whittaker forced to pull out of his middleweight matchup against Jared Cannonier for undisclosed personal reasons.
Stephens has not won a bout since Feb. 2018, when he knocked out Josh Emmett in the second round via elbows. Since then, Stephens was finished by Jose Aldo and dropped a decision to Zabit Magomedsharipov. A main event meeting with Yair Rodriguez in September went awry when Stephens suffered an eye poke that halted the match in merely 15 seconds. The two came to blows less than a month later at UFC on ESPN 6, where Stephens suffered a decision defeat to the fighter from Mexico. "Lil' Heathen" is one fight behind Donald Cerrone and Jim Miller (33 each) for the most bouts in company history, although Cerrone will extend his lead on Saturday.
Kattar was looking to rebound from his own loss on the scorecards to Magomedsharipov in November, although the two combined for a "Fight of the Night"-winning performance. The defeat halted a two-fight first-round knockout streak, where he finished Chris Fishgold and Ricardo Lamas in just over four minutes each. "The Boston Finisher" has stopped his opponent in three of his four victories inside the Octagon to date.
UFC 248 goes down at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on March 7. The event does not currently have a headliner, although serving in the co-main event is a strawweight title showdown between champ Weili Zhang and former divisional queen Joanna Jedrzejczyk.