Going almost unnoticed, Ross Pearson headed into UFC 221 with not only his UFC career on the line but probably his MMA career also. Riding a 4 fight losing streak Pearson knew what was on the line when he entered the cage to face Mizuto Hirota and you can only imagine the pressure he must have been under.
Pearson had admitted pre-fight he had done a lot of soul-searching, and said he hadn’t shown the real Ross Pearson in his recent fights. Pearson said he had trained hard for the fight and added the old fire was back and he didn’t want to leave the sport on the sort of losing streak he was on.
Pearson was coming off a 2nd round knockout to Dan Hooker in June of last year, and before the Hooker fight, there were losses to Will Brooks, Jorge Masvidal and Stevie Ray. Pearson 33, was on by far the worst run of his MMA career, so he badly needed a win this past weekend at UFC 221.
The Masvidal fight was in fairness up at welterweight, but the losing streak was a major concern for the former Ultimate Fighter winner.
The Sunderland born fighter got the much-needed win over Hirota, by way of unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) and with it, he got his first win since March 2016 when he beat Chad Laprise.
Despite the win Pearson knows full well he is still in a precarious position and another loss next time out may still signal the end of his UFC run, but at least for now Pearson is back in the win column. Pearson improved his record to 20-14 with 1 no contest.