Despite 4-fight skid, Ross Pearson says he's still with the UFC – and he wants a fight soon

The past 15 months have been rather unkind to Ross Pearson. After going his entire career without consecutive losses, “The Ultimate Fighter 8” winner has dropped his past four fights, leaving him in a position of career uncertainty.

Although still just 33, Pearson (19-14 MMA, 11-11 UFC) has been fighting professionally for nearly 13 years. He has three dozen fights between his pro, amateur and exhibition bouts, and never before has he experienced a slump close to what he’s dealing with now.

Pearson has mentioned retirement on and off at points of his career, and after suffering arguably his most violent loss to date in his most recent bout against Dan Hooker at UFC Fight Night 110 in June, it seemed the end might be near.

“The Real Deal” assured his supporters that’s not the case, though. He announced on social media that he’s not ready to hang up his gloves, nor has he been released from the UFC on the heels of four consecutive losses (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

For everyone asking yes I’m still fighting, yes I’m still with UFC, & yes I’m looking to fight soon I have rested my body my mind & spirit I’m training everyday waiting for 📞📞📞

Pearson did not mention exactly who or when he would like to fight next, but UFC Fight Night 121 on Nov. 18, which takes place in Australia, where Pearson currently resides, seems like a suitable destination for his return to the octagon.

For more on the upcoming UFC schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

That brutal knockout of Ross Pearson? Dan Hooker says it was 'lucky – nothing else'

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AUCKLAND, New Zealand – Dan Hooker showed plenty of humility after scoring one of the biggest wins of his career, which came against Ross Pearson on Saturday at UFC Fight Night 110.

Hooker (14-7 MMA, 4-3 UFC) picked up arguably the most memorable stoppage on the card when he obliterated Pearson (19-14 MMA, 11-11 UFC) with a perfect knockout via knee in the second round of their lightweight bout, which aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass at Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand.

During his post-fight interview with Brian Stann, “The Hangman” said the blow was entirely reactionary and he could only take so much credit. He doubled down on that comment during the post-fight press conference.

“I just caught him with that knee,” Hooker told MMAjunkie. “Lucky – nothing else.”

The clash with Pearson marked Hooker’s return to the lightweight division after he his previous six UFC appearances came at featherweight. Hooker said the 10-pound difference had a substantial impact on his performance.

“I just felt strong; I felt fit,” Hooker said. “I felt like a completely different fighter. I felt like myself. That’s how I train. That’s how I compete in the gym, and when I’m not draining myself to get down to 145, it’s my natural weight into the fight. … I’m never going back to featherweight.”

UFC Fight Night 110 was a glorious event for Kiwi fighters. Hooker’s victory was part of a 3-0 night for fighters from the region, with Mark Hunt and Jake Jumeau also earning victories.

Fighting on home turf comes with pressure, but Hooker seems to thrive. He also scored a first-round knockout of Ian Entwistle at the UFC’s first event in New Zealand, which took place in June 2014, and the encore was even better.

Once the referee pulled Hooker off Pearson, he was finally able to soak in the moment.

“Looking after the finish and seeing the crowd and just hearing them, it’s the same as the first show,” Hooker said. “That’s one of the loudest crowds I’ve come across. These New Zealand fans, they’ve got some lungs of them.”

It was Hooker’s fourth win under the UFC banner, all of which have come by stoppage. He’s been inconsistent, though, while alternating wins and losses over his seven-fight tenure with the promotion. He said the weight-class change will bring a steadier results, and he hopes he gets a chance to put together consecutive wins for the first time when the UFC makes its return to his part of the world later this year.

“I’m looking at November at the next show in Sydney or Melbourne,” Hooker said. “Break the voodoo for this one.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 110, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 110 video highlights: Dan Hooker vs. Ross Pearson

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Dan Hooker might never have a moment in his career as big as the one he experience at UFC Fight Night 110.

Competing in his hometown of Auckland, New Zealand, Hooker engaged in a back-and-forth battle with Ross Pearson. That is, until Hooker (14-7 MMA, 4-3 UFC) snuck in a lunging knee that sent Pearson’s (19-14 MMA, 11-11 UFC) mouthpiece flying for a devastating second-round knockout.

The lightweight bout was part of today’s UFC Fight Night 110 main card, which took place at Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand. It aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Check out the highlights above.

Also see:

For more on UFC Fight Night 110, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 110 results: Dan Hooker polishes off Ross Pearson with perfectly timed knee

Dan Hooker made Ross Pearson wade through dozens of jabs and leg-kicks, and just as Pearson started getting inside, he met the advance with a fight-ending shot.

Hooker (14-7 MMA, 4-3 UFC) snuck in a lunging knee that sent Pearson’s (19-14 MMA, 11-11 UFC) mouthpiece flying for a second-round knockout.

The lightweight bout was part of today’s UFC Fight Night 110 main card, which took place at Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand. It aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

The fight was over at the 3:02 mark of the middle frame after referee Neil Swales stepped in to save Pearson, who needed just one hammerfist to the face to go completely out after the concussion of the knee.

If Hooker had laid a trap for Pearson with the shot up the middle, he did so brilliantly. Up until that point, he’d mostly shown the Brit a persistent jab and a hard leg kick, which began to leave its mark by the end of the first round.

Down in height and reach, Pearson’s job from the outset was simple: get inside. And he did so fairly well, shuffling to the side to score with left hooks and shovel punches that reddened Hooker’s nose. Although Pearson’s leg appeared to receive the worst of the damage, he was still very much in the fight until the sudden shift in momentum.

But in the second round, Hooker began to experiment with a straight right, tracking Pearson’s movement inside. That turned out to be a precursor to the fight-ending sequence. Pearson was caught totally off-guard by the shot and dropped to the canvas.

New Zealand native Hooker gets back to the win column in front of a home crowd, though a win streak eludes him; since his 2014 debut, he’s alternated between wins and losses.

Pearson’s loss is likely to invite serious career reflection, if not a contractual crossroads. “The Ultimate Fighter 9” winner is 1-5 in his past six outings after his fourth consecutive loss.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 110 results:

For more on UFC Fight Night 110, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Watch Dan Hooker knock out Ross Pearson with a vicious knee that sent his mouthpiece flying

Dan Hooker and Ross Pearson were engaged in an entertaining back-and-forth affaird at UFC Fight Night 110, with both men spilling blood from their faces.

Then this happened 3:02 into the second round, and the fight was over.

What timing by Hooker to score an incredible finish like that in his hometown of Auckland, New Zealand. That’s as good as it gets.

For more on UFC Fight Night 110, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC-Auckland's Ross Pearson won't retire because of his 'stubborn fighter heart' despite skid

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AUCKLAND, New Zealand – Despite sitting on the dreaded skid of three consecutive UFC losses, veteran lightweight Ross Pearson insists his competitive juices are flowing as strong as ever ahead of UFC Fight Night 110.

Pearson (19-13 MMA, 11-10 UFC), who meets Dan Hooker (13-7 MMA, 3-3 UFC) on the FS1-televised portion of Saturday’s event following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass at Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand, admits retirement has crossed his mind during these trying times. However, he said competing in MMA is what he wants most, and whether it’s in the UFC or not, there’s no desire to hang up his gloves.

“I’ll keep fighting forever,” Pearson told MMAjunkie. “I don’t think fighting will ever stop. It’s in my blood, it’s who I am. But it’s definitely a get-back-on-track, get-back-to-what-I-do-best fight. I’m confident, I’m happy, I’m ready to go out there and entertain, and I hope Dan comes to fight.”

Pearson is a long way removed from winning Season 9 of “The Ultimate Fighter” in June 2009. He’s made 23 octagon appearances in nearly eight years since, and while consistent results have never been part of his identity, the recent stretch is his toughest to date.

“The Real Deal” has dropped four of his past five fights overall. He’s fought some top talent during that stretch such as Jorge Masvidal, Francisco Trinaldo, Stevie Ray, and Will Brooks. But regardless of the outcome, the Brit provided competitive fights.

Pearson’s past six fights have gone to the judges, though, and one of his biggest issues is taking a decision on the scorecards. Although Pearson considers himself a true fighter in every sense, he knows his toe-to-toe approach isn’t guaranteed to be rewarded. Because of that, Pearson said he made changes to his preparation in hopes of breeding a different outcome.

“I’ve had to reassess things and move on from it,” Pearson said. “Losing is a part of this sport; there aren’t many unbeaten champions in this sport. Losing is part of it, and it’s about the growth and the development. Many fighters could quit and say, ‘I’m sick of this, I’m done.’ I was so close to doing that. But, yeah, my stubborn fighter heart, mentality, the way I am as a person would never let that go. I keep fighting.

“My body is good, I keep training hard, keep bringing in new training partners, and keep trying to get better and improving. If it does go the distance, give the judges something they want to see so they will give me the decision, but I never look. I never go in there thinking, ‘I’m going to win by the judges decision.’ I go in there, and I go for the finish, and that’s sometimes why my fights have went the distance.”

Pearson’s primary goal will be to put Hooker away inside three rounds. However, if the fight ends up lasting all 15 minutes, Pearson is confident the tweaks to his game will put him in a more favorable position.

If that wasn’t enough to be concerned with, though, Pearson is also competing in Hooker’s hometown of Auckland. As a result, there’s no question which fighter the fans are going to support, but in Pearson’s mind it’s just one more obstacle he’s motivated to overcome.

“I’m fighting Dan, he’s from Auckland, and he’s the hometown boy, so I’m going to be the bad guy for the weekend,” Pearson said. “Whatever. It is what it is; it’s fun. I enjoy coming to people’s hometowns and upsetting them. All the pressure is on him.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 110, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie