Promising bantamweight Erik Perez has suffered a staph infection and will no longer be able to compete at UFC 159.
The UFC announced Monday that Bryan Caraway has agreed to replace Perez against fellow “Ultimate Fighter 14” alumnus Johnny Bedford (Pictured) at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., on Saturday. UFC 159 is headlined by a light heavyweight title showdown between Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen and also includes a middleweight clash pitting Michael Bisping against Alan Belcher.
Perez began his UFC tenure in impressive fashion, stopping his first three opponents inside of a round. Most recently, “Goyito” defeated Byron Bloodworth via technical knockout 3:50 into the opening frame at UFC 155.
“Say a prayer for Goyito Perez. [He’s] been in the hospital since Saturday night with a severe leg staph infection. [Hoping] he turns the corner today,” Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts, where Perez trains, tweeted on Monday.
Caraway is 2-1 in the Octagon since his time on “TUF 14.” The 28-year-old Washington native began his UFC career with victories over Dustin Neace and Mitch Gagnon before falling to Takeya Mizugaki in his last outing at UFC on Fuel TV 8.
Bedford is unbeaten in two bouts with the Las Vegas-based promotion, taking a second-round TKO triumph over Louis Gaudinot at the “TUF 14” finale before knocking out Marcos Vinicius Borges Pancini in December.