The latest fight announced for the card features undefeated Rio native Edson Barboza taking on Sunderland, England's Ultimate Fighter winner, Ross Pearson. The fight was reported by Pearson's hometown paper in Sunderland and was confirmed on the UFC's official UK Twitter account.
Pearson has gone 3-1 inside the Octagon since winning The Ultimate Fighter, and those wins include one-sided unanimous decisions over a couple of very good opponents in Dennis Siver and Spencer Fisher. At age 26 and with his background on the UFC's reality show, Pearson is one of the prospects the UFC really wants to push.
But the 25-year-old Barboza may be an even better prospect: He's a perfect 8-0 in his MMA career and is coming off a Fight of the Night-winning performance against Anthony Njokuani last month. Barboza is one of the best lightweight strikers in the UFC and will be a tough match-up for Pearson.
So far, every fight slated for UFC: Rio features a Brazilian taking on a foreigner. In addition to Pearson-Barboza, the card looks like this:
Anderson Silva vs. Yushin Okami
Shogun Rua vs. Forrest Griffin
Thiago Tavares vs. Spencer Fisher
Luiz Cane vs. Stanislav Nedkov