Ross Pearson Moves Up To Welterweight For Veteran Challenge At UFC 201

Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman for USA TODAY Sports
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It looks like Ross Pearson isn’t wasting any time getting back into the cage.

Following a close decision loss to former Bellator champ Will Brooks at last Friday’s (July 8, 2016) The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 23 Finale from Las Vegas, news arrived from ESPN’s Brett Okamoto today that ‘The Real Deal’ will be moving up to 170 pounds to take on veteran Jorge Masvidal at July 30’s UFC 201, from Atlanta, Georgia.

The TUF 9 winner has fought most of his lengthy 20-fight UFC career at 155 pounds, although he did fight at 145 at one point. He’ll join a long list of fighters who found the taxing weight cuts too strenuous on their bodies. Pearson will replace Siyar Bahadurzada, who was removed from the bout due to illness.

Pearson has an overall UFC record of 11-8(1), and owns wins over names like Gray Maynard, Sam Stout, Paul Felder, and Chad Laprise in the octagon. He’ll face off against a tough test in Masvidal, another fighter who has shown flashes of brilliance only to fall just short to the top names he’s fought in the UFC.

‘Gamebred’ recently left the lightweight division in favor of welterweight himself, although the results have been mixed. After stopping Cezar Ferreira at last summer’s TUF 21 Finale, Masvidal lost two split decisions – something that’s becoming his Achilles’ heel due to his ultra-smooth, laid-back style – to former lightweight champion Benson Henderson and Lorenz Larkin. Needless to say, both he and Pearson could both use a big win on the big stage.

Set to go down from the Philips Arena in Atlanta, UFC 201 is headlined by the welterweight title match-up between Robbie Lawler and Tyron Woodley.