Bad news for England's own Ross Pearson. The TUF 9 lightweight winner was all set to rematch Melvin Guillard at UFC Fight Night 37 in London following their no contest back in October, but he's been forced to withdraw from the bout after suffering a knee injury in training.
It's true I'm sorry to everyone especially @Young__Assassin hurt my knee in training & need surgery! I will be back ASAP bigger & stronger— Ross Pearson (@RossTheRealDeal) January 23, 2014
It didn't take long for the UFC to find a replacement, and with all due respect to Pearson, this is arguably an upgrade in matchmaking. Michael Johnson will now face "The Young Assassin" in March in what should be a fantastic fight and a huge opportunity for Johnson:
Johnson (14-8) is coming off consecutive impressive performances to close out 2013, KOing Gleison Tibau at UFC 168 and getting a dominant decision win over Joe Lauzon in Boston back in August. The TUF 12 runner-up had hit a bad patch in late 2012 and early 2013 when he lost to Myles Jury and Reza Madadi, but "The Menace" has strung together the two best performances of his UFC career and could definitely enter the top 10 rankings with a win against Guillard.
Guillard and Pearson fought to an NC in their first meeting after Guillard landed a knee to the head of Pearson while he was considered "downed". In the grand scheme of things, Guillard otherwise looked the much superior and faster fighter than Pearson, so this Johnson vs. Guillard booking is definitely an improvement to me.
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