UFC lightweight contender Ross Pearson has been forced to withdraw from his March 8th March rematch with Melvin Guillard at the O2 Arena due to a knee injury, with Michael Johnson quickly drafted in as a replacement.

Pearson was scheduled to take on Guillard in a hotly-anticipated rematch following a disappointing finish to their first bout in Manchester last year, with the bout declared a no contest after a downed Pearson took a knee to the head which opened up a severe cut.

Guillard and the Sunderland native were hoping to right that wrong in a co-main event slot in London but that chance has passed, with the Ultimate Fighter winner withdrawn to allow Johnson to come in as a replacement.

Johnson has survived a rocky start to life in the UFC and looked nothing short of sensational in his last two wins, clear victories over Joe Lauzon and Gleison Tibau.

'The Menace' has been campaigning for a swift return to the Octagon in recent weeks and has been granted his wish, providing chief support in what promises to be a fast-paced scrap with the 'Young Assasin'.

Pearson's withdrawal means British focus will now turn to Brad Pickett in terms of support to the main event, a scrap between London light-heavyweight Jimi Manuwa and former title challenger Alexander Gustafsson.

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