by Steven Marrocco and Ken Pishna- MMAWeekly.com
“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 9 winner Ross Pearson will get his first post-show test when he faces veteran Aaron Riley at UFC 105 on Nov. 16 in Manchester, England.
The news was confirmed to MMAWeekly.com Tuesday by sources close to the fight.
UFC 105 has yet to be announced by the promotion, but is expected to take place at the Manchester Evening News Arena. Early reports tabbed B.J. Penn vs. Diego Sanchez to headline the event, but UFC president Dana White said this weekend that a search is currently underway for a main event. A middleweight contest between Michael Bisping and Denis Kang co-headlines the show.
Pearson (9-3) turned heads on the reality show with his hard-nosed approach, taking out A.J. Wenn, Richie Whitson, and Jason Dent to earn a shot at the finals. The Sunderland, U.K. resident went on to defeat Andre Winner by unanimous decision to earn the title of The Ultimate Fighter.
Riley (28-11-1) is a 12-year veteran of the sport who’s gained a second lease on a UFC career after a disappointing pair of performances in 2002 and 2006. He last appeared at UFC 101, avenging a controversial stoppage loss to Shane Nelson with a unanimous decision victory. Prior to that, he slugged it out with Jorge Gurgel at UFC 91 to establish Octagon roots again.