Pearce Refuses To Fight Overweight Benitez At UFC Vegas 25

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Pearce Refuses To Fight Overweight Benitez At UFC Vegas 25

Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

A botched weight cut has cost UFC Vegas 25 a “Prelims” matchup tomorrow night (Sat., May 1, 2021) live on ESPN2/ESPN+ from inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nev., as Jonathan Pearce has pulled out of his clash with Gabriel Benitez after “Moggly” missed weight.

The two featherweights were expected to collide on the undercard of UFC Vegas 25 in a crucial matchup at 145 pounds. However, Benitez ended up missing weight by 4.5 pounds during Friday’s official weigh ins (replay HERE). At the time, it was expected that Pearce would still accept the fight and Benitez would have to hand over a portion of his purse.

That’s usually the way things work when two guys train for weeks and one drops the ball at weigh ins, but Pearce isn’t having it this time around. According to a recent post to his Instagram, “JSP” is not going to reward Benitez with a fight after the failed weigh in.

“Unfortunately, my opponent came in almost 5lb overweight and our fight is off. I did my part by showing up and making weight and I won’t reward him by accepting a fight and giving away any advantage. I’m trying to be smart about my career, and I hope to be back in the cage soon.”

It’s rare that a fighter doesn’t accept a fight after a weight miss, but Pearce have every right to deny Benitez. It was Benitez’s job to come in on weight and provide an even playing field for his featherweight clash with Pearce this weekend. It is unknown at this time if UFC officials are looking to reschedule this matchup for a future event.

With the cancelation of Benitez vs. Pearce, UFC Vegas 25 will now proceed with the following lineup:

UFC Vegas 25 Main Card on ESPN2/ESPN+:

205 lbs.: Dominick Reyes vs. Jiri Prochazka
145 lbs.: Giga Chikadze vs. Cub Swanson
205 lbs.: Ion Cutelaba vs. Dustin Jacoby
185 lbs.: Krzysztof Jotko vs. Sean Strickland
135 lbs.: Merab Dvalishvili vs. Cody Stamann
125 lbs.: Poliana Botelho vs. Luana Carolina

UFC Vegas 25 Prelims Card on ESPN2/ESPN+:

115 lbs.: Randa Markos vs. Luana Pinheiro
145 lbs.: TJ Brown vs. Kai Kamaka III
115 lbs.: Sam Hughes vs. Loma Lookboonmee
185 lbs.: K.B. Bhullar vs. Andreas Michailidis
145 lbs.: Felipe Colares vs. Luke Sanders will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 25 fight card below, starting with the ESPN2/ESPN+ preliminary card bouts at 7 p.m. ET, followed by the ESPN2/ESPN+ main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.