For the second time in a week, the UFC has had bad news regarding Fight Night 99 in Belfast. First Gunnar Nelson was forced out of the main event with an injury but now the co-main event has also fallen through.
James Krause (23-7 MMA, 4-3 UFC) has been forced to pull out of his fight with Ross ‘The Real Deal’ Pearson (19-12 MMA, 11-9 UFC) with a “high grade” hamstring tear during a wrestling session, the 30-year-old American issued an apology to Pearson on Instagram.
It's with great disappointment and frustration that I make this post announcing that I'm forced to withdraw from my #UFCBelfast bout with Ross Pearson… again. Monday morning during wrestling practice I tore my hamstring for what the doctor says is a "high grade", substantial tear in 3 different spots to my hamstring. This is 2 camps in a row, and against Ross that I've had to withdraw from so my greatest apologies to him. This is not my norm and I pride myself on fighting any opposition that's been offered to me. That being said during these training camps I've made a lot of progress and am very excited to show my improvements whoever and whenever that time comes. Once again, my deepest apologies to @rosstherealdeal and the @ufc. I'll be back soon enough.
Luckily for Pearson and the UFC, Stevie Ray (19-6 MMA, 3-1 UFC) was happy to step into the co-main event spot with UFC officials announcing it early on Thursday morning.
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) October 27, 2016
UFC Fight Night 99 takes place in Belfast on November 19th with the entire night of action being streamed live on fight pass along with UFC Fight Night 100 in Brazil.
Pearson is coming into this fight on the back of two straight defeats in his last three bouts, with his last win coming over Chad Laprise in Brisbane Australia in a close split decision. Most recently, he has suffered losses to Will Brooks and Jorge Masvidal, in a bout that was contested at Welterweight at UFC 201.
After announcing himself to the UFC in April 2015 with a 2nd round TKO win over Marcin Bandel, Stevie Ray then went on to win another two bouts before losing via unanimous decision to Alan Patrick, ending the Scot’s three-fight winning streak in the UFC and an overall five-fight streak.
One thing is for sure – it will not be an easy night for either man, with both fighters baying for blood. For Ray, it would be a great way to break into the lightweight rankings. As for Pearson, just to get a win to get himself back on track will mean a lot for the Englishman.