Diego Sanchez looks to rebound from a two-fight skid in June. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Diego Sanchez will fight on home soil for the first time in his UFC career when “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 1 winner faces Ross Pearson at the upcoming UFC Fight Night event in Albuquerque, N.M.
UFC officials Friday announced the booking, which takes place June 7 at Tingley Coliseum and is headlined by a lightweight bout between former champion Benson Henderson and Jackson’s MMA rep Rustam Khabilov.
Sanchez, 32, has lost three of his last four bouts, with a controversial split decision win over Takanori Gomi serving as his lone victory in that span. The longtime member of the Jackson-Winkeljohn camp last competed two weeks ago at UFC 171, when he was outpointed by fellow “TUF” alum Myles Jury.
Pearson, 29, saw his most recent fight end in a no-contest, when Melvin Guillard struck him with an illegal knee last October at UFC Fight Night 30. The lightweights were then supposed to rematch this month at UFC Fight Night 37, but the Englishman withdrew from the booking due to injury. Prior to the October no-contest, Pearson had won back-to-back fights, stopping George Sotiropoulos to close out 2012 before doing the same to Ryan Couture one year ago.