Will Brooks signs with UFC, faces Ross Pearson at TUF 23 Finale
<p>Former Bellator lightweight champion Will Brooks has signed with the UFC after a short period of free agency, <a href="http://www.ufc.com/news/Will-Brooks-Makes-UFC-Debut-on-July-8">the promotion announced Wednesday.</a></p>
<p>News broke last month that Brooks <a href="http://roughcopy.com/news/will-brooks-released-bellator-chandler-pitbull-set-vacant-title">vacated his Bellator title and was released </a>from the promotion after he chose not to renew his contract with intentions of fighting under the UFC. Brooks, who said one of his goals was to become a UFC champion, will now be facing Ross Pearson at <em>The Ultimate Fighter 23</em> finale in July. Pearson was originally scheduled to face James Krause until Krause withdrew from the bout earlier this week.</p>
<p>Brooks (18-1) won the Bellator lightweight title back in 2014 when he faced Michael Chandler in a rematch and won the bout by knocking out Chandler in the fourth round. After that, Brooks defended his title twice, once against Dave Jansen who he beat via unanimous decision and the other against Marcin Held who he beat by decision after escaping a tight leg-lock in the first round. Brooks has only suffered one loss, which he has avenged, against Saad Awad back in 2013.</p>
<p>Ross Pearson (19-10, 1 NC) has been inconsistent in his most recent bouts, going 3-2 in his past five outings. His last win came against Chad Laprise who he beat via split decision at UFC Fight Night 85 in March. Prior to that, Pearson suffered a unanimous decision loss to Francisco Trinaldo at UFC Fight Night 81 in Boston.</p>
<p><em>The Ultimate Fighter 23</em> finale will take place on July 8 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, one day prior to UFC 200. The card will be headlined by a straw-weight title fight between current champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk and challenger Claudia Gadelha.</p>
Jamal Khayat is a writer for RoughCopy MMA. He began his training in combat sports in 2009 and has competed as an amateur in both MMA and boxing. He is currently pursuing a B.S. degree in Physics at the University of Central Florida.