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Ross Pearson - A TUF journey

From competitor to coach on the UFC's famed TV reality series The Ultimate Fighter. The UK's #1 lightweight Ross Pearson has evolved and matured as a mixed martial artist considerably. Never more so than over the last couple of years. We first saw Pearson on our TV screens when he appeared on The Ultimate Fighter: US vs UK where he defeated A.J Wenn in an elimination bout via knockout in the 2nd round. Earning him his place in Las Vegas on the show. Pearson went on to win his semi-final bout against Jason dent via unanimous decision, which then earned him his place in the final where he would fight fellow countryman and worthy opponent, Andre Winner. Pearson went on to win the final via unanimous decision and cemented his place in the most elite MMA organisation in the world. Becoming the ultimate fighter and winning a six figure contract with the UFC. With notable wins over Dennis Siver, Spencer Fisher and Junior Assuncao, Pearson then appeared on TUF: The Smashes; but this time as a coach against UFC veteran, George Sotiropoulos. Pearson would then go on to take 3 of his team into the final out of a possible 4 places. After a very heated and real rivalry on the show they would meet on Apr 6, 2013. Pearson went on to TKO Sotiropoulus in the 3rd round of a dominant performance; ending the Aussies 7 fight win streak and leaving him crumpled on the canvas with his tail between his legs. Pearsons next bout would be facing the promising prospect Ryan Couture; the son of the UFC hall of famer Randy Couture on April 6th 2013 at UFC Sweden. Pearson was patient and picked his shots and welcomed Couture to the UFC with a 2nd round TKO after a grinding first round up against the cage. Pearson looked to of sharpened his tools and matured as a fighter, showing that his patience and precision mixed with his power and technique is going to trouble anyone in the 155 lb division. With Ross finding his feet in the 155lb division it all seemed well and good. That is until he fought Melvin Guillard in his home country at UFC Fight night Manchester October 26th, 2013. Both well known strikers promised a barn burner of a fight in what everyone quite rightly expected to be fight of the night. But unfortunately for both fighters at around the 3 minute mark of the first round, Guillard was to land an accidental illegal knee. It opened up a nasty looking gash in Pearsons forehead and the doctors called a stop to the fight, it being ruled a no contest. Both fighters were disappointed, especially Pearson; not forgetting the many fans who cheered the two on. It didn't take Pearson long to find another exciting matchup as he faced arguably the biggest brawler in MMA in Diego Sanchez at UFC Fight Night, June 7th 2014. Any MMA fan knows that these kind of matchups don't come along too often and it was guaranteed to be a fight! Ross Pearson travelled to Albuquerque, New Mexico to face the Sanchez in his own backyard. Pearson picked up where he left off in his previous couple of fights, picking Sanchez apart and making him miss his flurries of wild punches. Pearson was wise not to get into a brawl with Sanchez. He knocked him down in the 2nd round and even took Sanchez down at one point. The dream had a nightmare as Pearsons technical standup and perfectly executed game plan shut down his wild flurries to win each round comfortably. So it's understandable that the MMA world was left reeling when Bruce Buffer announced that Diego Sanchez was the winner by split decision. Many MMA critics and fans called it one of the worst decisions in MMA history. Dana White - UFC President: "It was horrible. In the second round, Diego got dropped and one judge still gave him that round. Insanity, man. Pearson got robbed. Pearson won that fight clearly. He easily won that fight. We have to treat Pearson like he won and give him that next level fight." Pearson was scheduled to fight Abel Trujillo at UFC Fight Night: Bader vs St Preux - August 16th, 2014. Abel Trujillo unfortunately had to pull out due to injury but was replaced by UFC veteran and long time title contender #12 Gray Maynard. With wins over Frankie Edgar, Jim Miller, Nate Diaz, Dennis Siver and Kenny Florian it left Pearson with a much better chance to boost him up in the lightweight rankings. And take that chance he did, with the first round going to Maynard, Pearson wasted no time in round 2. He came out and did what he does best. He took the fight to Maynard and delivered some accurate powerful punches. A right hand crashed "the bully" to the canvas. Pearson wasted no time and swarmed on Maynard delivering more vicious punches forcing the referee to call a stop the contest at 3:25 of the 2nd round. “I let it all out,” Pearson said after the fight. “All the frustration and anger I’ve had over the Diego Sanchez fight I used to fuel my performance tonight. With the way I’ve been training I just thought that my timing, rhythm, speed, and awareness were light years ahead of him. The fight just seemed so slow compared to how I’ve been training that I just wanted to speed it up and lure Gray in to throw. “I hit him with a hard right hand and then a 3-2 and got on top to follow it up. There’s no way I was going to give him chance to recover after all the stuff I’ve been through lately with bad judging.” Ross Pearson seems to be reaching his full potential in the lightweight division and with a win over #12 ranked Gray Maynard he has catapulted himself upwards in the division, proving that he is indeed "the real deal" Matty Franklin - FSpro store manager

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