UFC officials early Thursday announced that Pearson was out and that Johnson had replaced him in the fight with Guillard, which is slated for UFC Fight Night 37 on March 8 at London’s O2 Arena.
Pearson later tweeted about his injury, saying that he injured his knee in training and would require surgery.
It's true I'm sorry to everyone especially @Young__Assassin hurt my knee in training & need surgery! I will be back ASAP bigger & stronger
— Ross Pearson (@RossTheRealDeal) January 23, 2014
Pearson and Guillard first fought at UFC Fight Night 30 in October. The fight, however, ended as a no contest when it was stopped due to a cut on Pearson’s forehead that was deemed to be the result of an accidental illegal knee by Guillard.
But now, instead of rematching Pearson at UFC Fight Night 37, Guillard steps in the Octagon with Johnson.
Guillard (31-12-2, 2 NC) enters the bout having last fought Pearson. Johnson (14-8), The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 runner-up, has won his last two bouts, including a recent victory over Gleison Tibau at UFC 168 to close out 2013.
Light heavyweights Alexander Gustafsson and Jimi Manuwa headline the UFC Fight Night 37 card in a five-round, non-title fight.