A matchup of two surging lightweights was to serve as the co-main event for the UFC Fight Night that is coming to Bangor, Maine on August 16th. Abel Trujillo, who is coming off a vicious one-punch knockout of Jamie Varner in New Jersey earlier this year was matched up with another fighter in Ross Pearson who has recently resurrected his career with a 3 fight win streak. Pearson was last seen in the Octagon fighting Diego Sanchez in New Mexico, a fight which technically saw Sanchez get the win, but was a dominating performance by Pearson.
Dana White and the UFC openly stated that Pearson was robbed of the win, that he should have won that fight and that he would be receiving his win money despite the judges decision. They also told Pearson that they would go on with his matchmaking as though he had won the fight. The bout with Trujillo was one that had the potential to decide which fighter was going to move up in competition and take the next step of their respective careers. It was an important fight for both fighter as it was a sort of crossroads that could make or break both men.
News broke that Trujillo has pulled from the fight due to an injury. With only ten days until the event, Gray Maynard, a man who has been in the top 15 of the lightweight division for years, volunteered to take the place of Trujillo, keeping the fight intact and allowing Pearson another opportunity to fight the kind of opponent who, if beaten, would continue his upward momentum.
Maynard was last seen fighting Nate Diaz at The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale in November of 2013. The fight was a rubber match of sorts as Maynard and Diaz had competed against each other 2 times before then, each taking home 1 win. Maynard was knocked out in the first round, and subsequently took a break from MMA. The Diaz loss was his 3rd knockout loss in his past 4 fights. This fight is truly a make it or break it fight for Maynard who, if defeated, will be looking at a 1-4 record in his past 5 fights and a 3 fight losing streak that stretches over 2 years.
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