Johnny Bedford has been tapped to replace Demetrious Johnson in a bantamweight bout against Eddie Wineland at UFC on Fox 2. Johnson was scratched from the card to compete in the UFC's inaugural four-man flyweight tournament on March 3rd, 2012. UFC officials confirmed the switch on Wednesday.
The move marks a dramatic step-up in competition for Bedford (18-9-1), a 28-year-old veteran who recently competed on The Ultimate Fighter 14. "Brutal" suffered a devastating knockout loss to eventual season winner John Dodson in the show's semi-finals, but rebounded with a destruction of Louis Gaudinot at The Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale.
Across the cage, former WEC champion Wineland (18-8-1) heads into the bout on uncertain ground after dropping two straight decisions to top-five opponents Urijah Faber and Joseph Benavidez. Before his recent slump, the 27-year-old regained footing in the 135-pound division with a four-fight win streak, including two "Knockout of the Night" victories against Ken Stone and Will Campuzano.
UFC on Fox 2 is slated for January 28, 2012 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. Three high-profile contender matches headline the network broadcast -- Rashad Evans vs. Phil Davis, Mark Munoz vs. Chael Sonnen, and Michael Bisping vs. Demian Maia.
UFC on Fox 2 fight card:
Light heavyweight: Rashad Evans vs. Phil Davis
Middleweight: Chael Sonnen vs. Mark Munoz
Middleweight: Michael Bisping vs. Demian Maia
Bantamweight: Eddie Wineland vs. Johnny Bedford
Lightweight: Evan Dunham vs. Paul Sass
Heavyweight: John Olav Einemo vs. Mike Russow
Lightweight: Cody McKenzie vs. Michael Johnson
Featherweight: George Roop vs. Cub Swanson
Featherweight: Charles Oliveira vs. Eric Wisely
Middleweight: Chris Camozzi vs. Dustin Jacoby