Brits Populate Completed UFC 105 Roster

By Brian Knapp Nov 3, 2009
UFC 105 “Couture vs. Vera” on Nov. 14 will have a decidedly nationalistic feel, as 10 British fighters -- including “The Ultimate Fighter 9” winners James Wilks and Ross Pearson -- will compete at the Manchester Evening News Arena in Manchester, England.

Wilks, who tore through the welterweight tournament on Season 9 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” will square off with the rugged Matt Brown in his first Octagon appearance since he finished his run on the Spike TV reality series.

A Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt, Wilks will carry a four-fight winning streak into the match. The 31-year-old Erik Paulson protégé has delivered all six of his career victories, including his first-round win over Damarques Johnson at “The Ultimate Fighter 9” Finale in June, by knockout, technical knockout or submission. The former Gladiator Challenge welterweight champion trains out of Laguna Hills, Calif.

Brown, 28, has won three of his first four fights inside the UFC, and his lone defeat came in a contentious split decision to the unbeaten Dong Hyun Kim. A Jorge Gurgel understudy, he last appeared at UFC 96 in March, when he brutalized Pete Sell en route to a 92-second TKO. Brown has shown a vulnerability to strong grapplers during his career, as five of his seven losses have come by submission.

Pearson, meanwhile, will lock horns with the well-traveled Aaron Riley.

The 25-year-old Pearson has not competed since he defeated Andre Winner by unanimous decision at “The Ultimate Fighter 9” Live Finale five months ago. A black belt in tae kwon do and brown belt in judo, the Englishman has won eight of his last nine bouts and will carry plenty of momentum into his UFC 105 match. Pearson has delivered more than half (five) of his nine career victories by submission.

Now rooted at Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts in Albuquerque, N.M., Riley has more than twice as many wins as Pearson has fights. The experienced and battle-tested 28-year-old defeated Shane Nelson by unanimous decision at UFC 101 in August and has posted four wins in five fights. Victories against Gurgel and 2009 Sengoku featherweight grand prix finalist Michihiro Omigawa anchor his resume.

A light heavyweight bout pairing UFC hall of famer Randy Couture with Brandon Vera will headline UFC 105, along with a key middleweight bout between “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 3 winner Michael Bisping and 2006 Pride welterweight grand prix finalist Denis Kang. In addition, Mike Swick will collide with Dan Hardy in a match that will likely determine the next man to challenge reigning UFC welterweight king Georges St. Pierre.

UFC 105: Couture vs. Vera
Saturday, Nov. 14
Manchester Evening News Arena
Manchester, England

Randy Couture vs. Brandon Vera
Michael Bisping vs. Denis Kang
Mike Swick vs. Dan Hardy
Ross Pearson vs. Aaron Riley
James Wilks vs. Matt Brown
Paul Taylor vs. John Hathaway
Terry Etim vs. Shannon Gugerty
Paul Kelly vs. Dennis Siver
Andre Winner vs. Roli Delgado
Matt Riddle vs. Nick Osipczak
Alexander Gustafsson vs. Jared Hamman

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