UFC: Gabriel Benitez to Face Jonathan Pearce on May 1

Jonathan Pearce UFC
Jonathan Pearce Credit: Joe McDonagh/Cageside Press

Lightweight action is the latest addition to the UFC’s May 1 card, as Gabriel Benitez and Jonathan Pearce will face off at the event.

On Tuesday, MMA Fighting was first to report the booking, which will see both “Moggly” Benitez (22-8) and Pearce (10-4) look to string together back-to-back wins. Cageside Press subsequently confirmed the date, which is expected for the UFC Apex.

Benitez enters the bout off a Performance of the Night effort against Justin Jaynes at UFC Vegas 16 in December. The 32-year old Mexican from American Kickboxing Academy set up the finish with a knee to the body. That snapped a two-fight skid for Benitez. Overall, he sits at 6-4 since entering the UFC in 2014 after appearing on The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America.

Pearce, for his part, is just two fights into his UFC career. Drawing the short straw in his debut, he was paired up against veteran Joe Lauzon, and wound up finished via ground and pound within a round. In his sophomore outing, however, Pearce earned his own TKO over Kai Kamaka III at November’s UFC Vegas 15.

The UFC’s May 1, 2021 event doe not have a location, venue, or broadcast plans officially announced. The card is expected to feature the following bouts:

Cub Swanson vs. TBD
Damon Jackson vs. T.J. Laramie
Kai Kamaka III vs. T.J. Brown
Mike Jackson vs. Dean Barry
Ji Yeon Kim vs. Poliana Botelho
Dominick Reyes vs. Jiri Procházka
Andreas Michailidis vs. KB Bhullar
Ion Cuțelaba vs. Devin Clark
Loma Lookboonmee vs. Sam Hughes
Augusto Sakai vs. Shamil Abdurakhimov
Krzysztof Jotko vs. Sean Strickland
Felipe Colares vs. Journey Newson
Gabriel Benítez vs. Jonathan Pearce