A battle between Australia's George Sotiropoulos (14-4) and England's Ross Pearson (13-6) is being earmarked for UFC on FX 6, which takes place on Dec. 15, at a venue yet to be made official in Australia.
The bout would be the second one confirmed for the show that was announced earlier this week, underneath the Rousimar Palhares vs. Hector Lombard middleweight main event.
The bout, confirmed Saturday by a UFC official, was expected as soon as the date of the show was announced. Sotiropoulos, originally from Geelong, Victoria, Australia, and Pearson, from Sunderland, England, are the respective head coaches of the Australia vs. U.K. - The Footies," season of The Ultimate Fighter. The reality show was taped in Sydney, Australia. The Dec. 15 show doubles as the season finale, where the coaches would be expected to fight.
The season debuts on Sept. 19 on FX in Australia. It was expected the show would also be airing in the U.K., but no broadcast deal has been announced. The show will not air on television in North America, but will be available on the Internet concurrent with the Australian broadcast.
Both men are similar in the sense they first made their mark on the reality show in the United States, and then changed weight classes.Sotiropoulos was on season six, which aired in late 2007, losing in the semifinals as a welterweight. The Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt moved to lightweight early in his UFC tenure. After winning seven fights in a row, he had become Australia's biggest MMA star, particularly after his win over former TUF champion Joe Stevenson on UFC's debut show in the country at UFC 110.
He was on the verge of a title shot when he lost a decision on Feb. 27, 2011, in Sydney, to Dennis Siver. He followed with a :59 knockout loss to Rafael dos Anjos on July 2, 2011 in Las Vegas. He hasn't fought since, missing a February date with Takanori Gomi due to an injury.
Pearson won season nine of Ultimate Fighter, the U.S. vs. U.K season, winning a decision over fellow British fighter Andre Winner. He went 3-2 as a lightweight before moving down to featherweight in December. Pearson lost his most recent fight to Cub Swanson on June 22 in Atlantic City, N.J., but moves back up to lightweight for this fight.
The show will take place on a Saturday morning and early afternoon in Australia for live airing in prime time in North America on Friday, Dec. 14. It will be part of two straight nights for UFC on FX in the U.S., since the finals of the U.S. version of Ultimate Fighter will take place on Dec. 15, from Las Vegas.