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Will Brooks signs with the UFC, makes debut against Ross Pearson at The Ultimate Fighter 23 finale

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Former Bellator lightweight champion Will Brooks has signed with the UFC. The news was first reported by MMA Junkie, but was later confirmed to MMA Fighting.

Brooks (18-1), who left Bellator as the lightweight champion and went into free agency in May, is scheduled to make his UFC debut against Ross Pearson at The Ultimate Fighter 23 finale. Brooks will serve as a replacement for James Krause who was forced to withdraw from the bout. Brooks last fought at Bellator 145 on November where he defended his belt against Marcin Held. The 29-year-old Brooks is currently on an eight-fight wining streak.

Meanwhile, Pearson (19-10) is 2-2 in his past four performances. The 31-year-old last competed in March, defeating Chad Laprise via split decision at UFC Fight Night 85.

The Ultimate Fighter 23 finale is set for July 8 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. Joanna Jedrzejczyk is scheduled to defend her belt against Claudia Gadelha in the main event on the card.