Tristan Connelly makes his Octagon debut against Michel Pereira in Canada. | Guhdar Photography, Unified MMA
The UFC has found an opponent for Michel Pereira with less than one week until fight night.
Pereira will face newcomer Tristan Connelly in a welterweight bout Saturday at UFC Vancouver, multiple sources told MMA Fighting following a report by TSN. Connelly is stepping on short notice after Pereira’s originally scheduled opponent Sergey Khandozhko was forced to bow out due to visa issues.
Pereira (23-9, 2 NC) made a spectacular UFC debut in May at a Fight Night event in Rochester, N.Y., where he knocked out Danny Roberts inside of a round following an unorthodox and occasionally acrobatic performance. He has won his last three fights and seven of his last eight.
Hailing from Victoria, British Columbia, Connelly sports a 13-6 pro record and has competed primarily in western Canada. He has won four straight and eight of nine, most recently stopping D’Juan Owens via strikes in the fifth round to capture the Rise FC lightweight title.
The nine-year veteran had been openly campaigning on social media to fight Pereira after news of Khandozhko’s withdrawal surfaced and it appears the UFC matchmakers heard him.
UFC Vancouver takes place Saturday at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, and features a lightweight headliner between Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and Justin Gaethje. The event will air on the ESPN+ streaming service.
See the updated card below (bout order to be finalized):
Donald Cerrone vs. Justin Gaethje
Glover Teixeira vs. Nikita Krylov
Todd Duffee vs. Jeff Hughes
Antonio Carlos Junior vs. Uriah Hall
Misha Cirkunov vs. Jim Crute
Michel Pereira vs. Tristan Connelly
Marcin Tybura vs. Augusto Sakai
Chas Skelly vs. Jordan Griffin
Cole Smith vs. Miles Johns
Andrew Sanchez vs. Marvin Vettori
Kyle Prepolec vs. Austin Hubbard
Louis Smolka vs. Ryan MacDonald
Brad Katona vs. Hunter Azure
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