After being victimized by a hometown decision at UFC Fight Night 42 in Albuquerque, New Mexico against Diego Sanchez, Ross Pearson seemed ready to take up the “The Nightmare” on his offer of a rematch. However, UFC President Dana White doesn’t see the need for one and is fully supporting the English fighter.
In an interview with ESPN.com, White was highly critical of the split-decision verdict that somehow went in favour of Sanchez. He says it was a horrible decision and the organization will treat the result as a Pearson win moving forward. While it’s not known if Pearson received his win bonus, there have been instances in the past where fighters have received extra compensation when they’ve been on the wrong end of porous decisions in White’s eyes.
Pearson actually saw his stock rise despite the setback because of the widespread outrage stemming from the wretched decision. The TUF Season 9 winner emerged relatively unscathed from last weekend’s co-main event clash and is hoping to make a quick return in either July or August.
While “The Real Deal” clearly got a raw one against Sanchez, he did fight a strong, technical bout and continues to improve. He was able to counter his opponent’s wild swings and wobbled him on multiple occasions. Pearson even dropped the ultra-tough Sanchez in the second round. Unfortunately, the English fighter has run into some bad luck in his last two Octagon appearances.
The “loss” to Sanchez followed a previous no-contest against Melvin Guillard at Fight Night 30 in England. Pearson wasn’t able to continue after being badly cut by an illegal knee in the first round of that contest.
Pearson is a fighter who always gives an honest effort and is usually a go-to guy for the promotion for their European events. He’s fought in England, Sweden, Australia, Brazil and the U.S. during his 12-fight Octagon tenure and has produced two Fight of the Night performances.
There are several attractive options for matchmakers to consider for Pearson’s next fight. I’d like to see him face either Takanori Gomi, Joe Lauzon or Myles Jury next. “The Fireball Kid” is coming off an exciting unanimous decision victory over Isaac Vallie-Flagg in a Fight of the Night at UFC 172. The always entertaining and no. 15-ranked Lauzon hasn’t fought since defeating Mac Danzig at UFC on FOX 9 back in December.
As for Jury, the no. 8-ranked lightweight recently pulled out of this month’s UFC Fight Night 44 event in San Antonio because of an injury. However, he’s not expected to be sidelined for long.
Pearson truly deserved to be rewarded rather than penalized for the fiasco that went down this past weekend against Sanchez. It looks as though he will get an opportunity to take his career to the next level with another major fight in his next appearance. It’s no doubt a moral victory for him to know that White is firmly in his corner after the highly disappointing result in Albuquerque.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports