Ross Pearson - Photo by Al Bello/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
It's been reported recently that TUF 9 winner, Ross Pearson, had been undergoing a test weight-cut to see if he could drop down to the featherweight division, and it appears the test was successful as Pearson has agreed to make his featherweight debut against Junior Assuncao at UFC 141 in December, according to Tatame:
Junior Assunção asked for it, and UFC agreed. The Brazilian fighter, who returned to the cage with a win over Eddie Yagin, called out the ‘Ultimate Fighter’ winner Ross Pearson, and the fight is set to UFC 141, on December 30, Las Vegas.
Pearson has always been undersized at 155 lbs, but he still managed to be competitive in the UFC, putting together impressive wins over skilled veterans like Spencer Fisher, Aaron Riley, and Dennis Siver. The Brit is coming off a razor-thin and exciting decision loss against Edson Barboza at UFC Rio last August, that saw moth men earn a well-deserved fight-of-the-night bonus.
Assuncao returned to the UFC this September after a four-year absence and riding a six-fight winning streak. The BJJ black belt won a decision over Eddie Yagin in his Octagon return, but he probably didn't win over the fans or the UFC brass by showboating and taunting Yagin over the course of three rounds without putting together much in the way of effective offense. The taunting would be ill-advised against Pearson, whose diverse and effective striking game will make Assuncao pay if he hangs on the feet for too long.
Ross "The Real Deal" Pearson (12-5)
Loss Edson Barboza (split decision) - UFC 134
Win Spencer Fisher (unam. decision) - UFC 127
Loss Cole Miller (submission - rear naked choke) - UFN22
Junior Assuncao (13-4)
Win Eddie Yagin (unam. decision) - UFC 135
Win Wesley Murch (submission - rear naked choke) - Recife FC 4
Win Mark Miller (KO - punch) - Recife FC 3
Here's how the UFC 141 card is currently shaping up:
-Brock Lesnar vs. Alistair Overeem
-Jon Fitch vs. Johny Hendricks
-Alexander Gustafsson vs. Vladimir Matyushenko
-Donald Cerrone vs. Nate Diaz
-Dong Hyun Kim vs. Sean Pierson
-Jacob Volkmann vs. T.J. Grant
-Ross Pearson vs. Junior Assuncao