UFC 288 has taken a hit with the loss of one of the event’s main card bouts.
Multiple people with knowledge of the promotion’s plans confirmed to MMA Fighting on Thursday that Jonathan Pearce is out of his scheduled featherweight matchup with Bryce Mitchell due to an undisclosed injury. Pearce’s withdrawal from the contest was first reported by Fight Analyst LLC on Twitter.
A person with knowledge of the situation told MMA Fighting that the promotion is working on a replacement opponent for Mitchell for the May 6 pay-per-view event in Newark, N.J., but nothing has been finalized as of yet.
The injury comes at a tough time for Pearce as he was getting prepared for his highest profile fight to date. “JSP” has won five straight, including stoppage wins over Kai Kamaka III, Omar Morales, and Makwan Amirkhani, along with a pair of decision wins over Christian Rodriguez and Darren Elkins.
Mitchell looks to bounce back from his first pro loss — a second-round submission — to Ilia Topuria at December’s UFC 282 event, which snapped the 15-fight win streak of “Thug Nasty.”