Joe Pearson in Car Accident, Jeff Curran Gets New XFO 39 Opponent

Jeff Curran WEC 34

Jeff Curran

(Reporting by Al Yu and Damon Martin)

Jeff Curran heads this weekend’s XFO 39, but he’ll have a new opponent stepping in at the last minute.

Curran’s original opponent, Joe Pearson, was involved in a car accident and will be unable to compete, according to sources. The seriousness of the accident was unclear at the time of publication, but it was obviously severe enough for Pearson to withdraw from the fight.

Answering the call in the 11th hour is Billy Vaughn, a Midwest U.S. based fighter, who last faced Jorge Gurgel when Strikeforce was in Columbus, Ohio. Vaughn has an overall record of 9-7, but has lost his last two fights, so he’ll be hungry to steal Curran’s thunder.

Curran (32-13-1) has been working hard to get back under the Zuffa umbrella. He exited World Extreme Cagefighting in late 2009 on the heels of a four-fight skid. He has since gone 3-1, and was looking for a win over a solid veteran like Pearson to help put him back in the sights of UFC matchmaker Joe Silva.

“I am disappointed because I had to pull out last year for the Outdoor War because of an injury and timing was very bad,” Curran told “So I feel that we are destined not to fight.  I wish Joe and his family a good recovery and I know that if it was truly up to him he would be in the cage with me this Friday. Family comes first.”