Jonathan Brookins' first UFC fight since winning "The Ultimate Fighter 12" will have to wait a bit longer.
) today confirmed with event sources that Brookins (12-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) has suffered an eye injury and has been forced out of his June 4 fight with fellow lightweight Jeremy Stephens (19-6 MMA, 6-5 UFC).
In his place on the card, The Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale, steps former WEC fighter Danny Downes (8-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC). Verbal agreements are in place for the new matchup.
The Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale takes place at at The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. The night's main card, including Stephens vs. Downes, airs on Spike TV.
Brookins, a one-time Bellator and WEC fighter, defeated Ran Weathers, Sevak Magakian, Sako Chivitchian and Kyle Watson to advance to the TUF 12 Finale, where he ultimately defeated Michael Johnson via unanimous decision back in December. He then was slated to fight John Makdessi at UFC 129 but was forced off the card due to an injury.
His replacement, Downes, took a gamble this past weekend and received permission to take a fight outside the UFC. The Duke Roufus-trained fighter successfully submitted Tory Bogguess at an NAFC event in Wisconsin and now makes his UFC debut with back-to-back wins, which included a decision victory over previously undefeated Tiequan Zhang in the WEC's final event before a merger with the UFC.
Stephens, meanwhile, enters the fight on a 3-1 run in the organization, which included a recent third-round knockout of Marcus Davis at UFC 125. The win, which earned Stephens a third "KO of the Night" bonus check, followed a close split-decision defeat to Melvin Guillard in September. Prior to that loss, the Iowa native and California-based fighter earned back-to-back wins over Justin Buchholz and Sam Stout.