The lightweight match up between 155-pound veterans Josh Neer (25-7-1) and Kurt Pellegrino (13-4) will likely take place at UFC 101 on August 8 -- not UFC Fight Night 19 on August 5 as previously reported.
MMAmania.com learned about the bout switch to pay-per-view (PPV) over the weekend, indicating that the East Coast destination for the show ("Batman" is a New Jersey Native) appears to be on the right track. In fact, while nothing is official at this time, the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, Pa., still appears to be the likely destination as we first reported.
Since posting a 2-3 record in the UFC, "The Dentist" won six of seven fights outside the promotion before returning to the Octagon and defeating Din Thomas by unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night 13. He followed that up with a split decision loss to Nate Diaz, but not before earning "Fight of the Night" in their three-round war at UFC Fight Night 15 back in September.
Neer, who promises "Win, lose or draw I’m going to bring it," would go on to nab his second straight "Fight of the Night" in a win over Mac Danzig at FN 17, which no doubt prompted the UFC to award him with a recent contract extension for his efforts inside the cage and his ability to electrify the crowd with his aggressiveness.
It's going to take every ounce of that talent for Neer to get past the crafty Pellegrino. "Batman" has flirted with being recognized as a top competitor in a very crowded division on numerous occasions throughout his career; however, he has been plagued by inconsistency just as he reaches the precipice of contendership.
After being submitted by Nate Diaz at Fight Night 13 last April, Pellegrino was able to string together two consecutive wins including a solid unanimous decision nod over Thiago Tavares at UFC 88: "Breakthrough" back in September and a submission victory over Rob Emerson at FN 17 just last month.
A win over the surging Neer would unquestionable re-establish him as a force to be reckoned with.
UFC 101 is expected to feature a major title fight, as well as a co main event between former UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy "The Natural" Couture as he locks horns with former UFC Interim Heavyweight Champion Antonio Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira. Additionally, Thiago Silva and ex-205-pound kingpin Forrest Griffin are also expected to hook ‘em up.
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