UFC newcomer Stephen Thompson (5-0) has signed-on to fill the vacated spot. Promotion officials confirmed the switch earlier this week.
An undefeated prospect out of Simpsonville, South Carolina, Thompson strides into the UFC after just two years on the regional circuit. Affectionately known as "Wonderboy," the Pitch Black MMA product has three stoppage wins and last appeared in October, defeating Patrick Mandio via unanimous decision.
Meanwhile, 28-year-old TUF 13 alum Edwards hopes to dodge a pink slip after dropping two of his first three UFC appearances. "Fast Eddy's" lone win, a unanimous decision over Jorge Lopez at UFC 138, is sandwiched between uninspired losses to Clay Harvison and promotional newcomer John Maguire.
UFC 143 takes place Super Bowl weekend, February 4th, at the Mandalay Bay Events Centers in Las Vegas, Nevada. An interim welterweight title bout between Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit is the night's main event.
UFC 143 fight card:
Interim Welterweight Championship: Nick Diaz vs. Carlos Condit
Heavyweight: Roy Nelson vs. Fabricio Werdum
Bantamweight: Scott Jorgensen vs. Renan Barao
Welterweight: Josh Koscheck vs. Mike Pierce
Featherweight: Dustin Poirier vs. Max Holloway
Bantamweight: Alex Caceres vs. Edwin Figueroa
Welterweight: Jorge Lopez vs. Matt Riddle
Middleweight: Ed Herman vs. Clifford Starks
Welterweight: Matt Brown vs. Chris Cope
Welterweight: Justin Edwards vs. Stephen Thompson
Middleweight: Rafael Natal vs. Michael Kuiper