With Jai Herbert out, Luis Pena steps in to face Drakkar Klose at UFC Fight Night 185

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Farah Hannoun
·2 min read
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With Drakkar Klose needing a new opponent, Luis Pena has stepped in on a week’s notice to take the challenge.

Jai Herbert has been forced out of UFC Fight Night 185 on Feb. 20 due to COVID-19 related health issues and Pena (8-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) will step in on short notice to face Klose (11-2-1 MMA, 5-2 UFC).

A person with knowledge of the booking confirmed the news to MMA Junkie on Thursday. They asked to remain anonymous since the promotion has yet to make an official announcement. MMA Fighting was first to report the news.

Following the news, Herbert released a statement on Instagram explaining how a recent positive COVID-19 test forced him to withdraw.

“Unfortunately I’m out of my fight on Feb 20th…couple weeks ago I became ill…I then tested positive for COVID. Obviously this meant I had to isolate & was unable to get my medicals done, train or cut weight.
I was really looking forward to this fight, to show what improvements I’ve made since my last one.
It’s another set back…but there’s people being effected by this pandemic a lot worse then me so it is what it is.
Il be back soon, and cement myself in the @ufc lightweight division….what is life without a bit of adversity ….. 👊🏽 “

Klose will look to rebound from a second-round knockout loss to Beneil Dariush at UFC 248, where he was stopped in a thrilling back-and-forth contest. Prior to that, the Arizona native had scored three straight wins over Lando Vannata, Bobby Green and Christos Giagos.

Since moving back up to 155 pounds, Pena has split his past four appearances. After defeating Steve Garcia via unanimous decision in February, the Season 27 “Ultimate Fighter” alum suffered a third-round submission loss at the hands of Khama Worthy at UFC on ESPN 12 in June.

With the change, the UFC Fight Night 185 lineup includes:

MAIN CARD (ESPN+, 8 p.m. ET)

  • Curtis Blaydes vs. Derrick Lewis

  • Yana Kunitskaya vs. Ketlen Vieira

  • Darrick Minner vs. Charles Rosa

  • Chris Daukaus vs. Aleksei Oleinik

  • Rafael Alves vs. Patrick Sabatini

  • Andrei Arlovski vs. Tom Aspinall

PRELIMINARY CARD (ESPN+, 5 p.m. ET)

  • Nassourdine Imavov vs. Phil Hawes

  • Danny Chavez vs. Jared Gordon

  • Drakkar Klose vs. Luis Pena

  • John Castaneda vs. Eddie Wineland

  • Julian Erosa vs. Nate Landwehr

  • Shana Dobson vs. Casey O’Neill

  • Drako Rodriguez vs. Aiemann Zahabi

  • Serghei Spivac vs. Jared Vanderaa

  • Jamall Emmers vs. Chas Skelly