Ross Pearson steps up on short notice to replace ill Siyar Bahadurzada against Jorge Masvidal at UFC 201

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Ross Pearson (photo credit Joshua Dahl © MMATorch)

Illness has taken Siyar Bahadurzada out of this month’s UFC 201 event, and Ross Pearson is now stepping up on two and a half weeks notice to face Jorge Masvidal on the card.

The UFC announced the new matchup on Wednesday.

Pearson makes a quick turnaround after a decision loss to Will Brooks last Friday night at The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale, and takes his first fight at 170 lbs. as well.  The 31-year-old joins a short list of fighters to have competed in three weight classes in the UFC after a prior stint at featherweight in the Octagon. Winner of The Ultimate Fighter’s ninth season back in 2009, Pearson has kept himself on the roster with an inconsistent output, alternating wins and losses over his last nine fights.

Masvidal, a former lightweight himself, is in need of a bounce back after consecutive losses at 170 lbs. He won his first UFC bout in the weight class last July, but after that impressive KO win over Cezar Ferreira he lost decisions to Benson Henderson and Lorenz Larkin.

UFC 201 hits Atlanta, Ga., on July 30, headlined by the Welterweight Championship fight between Robbie Lawler and Tyron Woodley.

[Photo (c) Joshua Dahl via USA Today Sports]

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