An injury to hard-hitting lightweight Abel Trujillo has led to a change in plans for the upcoming UFC Fight Night 47 event in Bangor, Maine. “Killa” is out of his scheduled matchup against Ross Pearson, and his spot has been taken by former 155 pound title challenger Gray Maynard. “The Bully” had been scheduled to face Fabricio Camoes on the August 16 card, but Camoes will now be moved to another event.
Maynard likely now draws a tougher assignment in what looms as a must-win fight. He’s been knocked out in brutal fashion in his last two Octagon appearances by T.J. Grant and Nate Diaz. The No. 12 ranked Maynard hasn’t fought since being destroyed by Diaz last November at the TUF 18 Finale. The Season 5 Ultimate Fighter alum is getting the opportunity to possibly punch his ticket back into the top-10 if he can knock off the dangerous Pearson. Maynard has registered just one win in his last five UFC bouts.
“The Real Deal” is coming off a highly controversial split-decision loss to Diego Sanchez in what was a widely-panned judges’ verdict at Fight Night 42 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Season 9 winner of the Ultimate Fighter has revived his career in the last couple of years since moving back up to the lightweight ranks. He’s posted knockout victories over George Sotiropoulos and Ryan Couture and also had a no-contest against Melvin Guillard.
Pearson should actually be riding a three-fight win streak if not for the major raw deal he was handed against “The Nightmare.” He possesses outstanding boxing skills and his punching power will be a major test for Maynard’s chin to contend with.
This shapes up as an entertaining matchup between two Ultimate Fighter alumni who appear to be heading in opposite directions. Maynard is hoping he can somehow turn back the clock and prove he can still be relevant. Pearson will be looking to continue his rise up the lightweight ladder by producing another strong performance.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports.