Two lightweight veterans face off as Ross “The Real Deal” Pearson (21-14 1 NC MMA, 11-11 UFC) looks to get back on track against Japanese native Mizuto “Pugnus” Hirota (18-8-2 MMA, 1-3-1 UFC) in the featured Fight Pass prelim bout.
Pearson (21-14 1 NC MMA, 11–11 UFC) has his back against the wall having lost his last four straight, with his last victory being a split decision win at UFC Fight Night 85, against Chad “The Disciple” Laprise (13-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC) back in March of 2016.
Since that win, Pearson has lost to Will “Ill” Brooks (18-4 MMA, 1-3 UFC) via unanimous decision, Jorge “Gambred” Masvidal (32-13 MMA, 9-6 UFC) via unanimous decision, Stevie “Braveheart” Ray (21-7 MMA, 5-2 UFC) via split decision, and most recently via second round knockout to Daniel “The Hangman” Hooker (15-7 MMA, 5-3 UFC) last June at UFC Fight Night 110. This is make or break for Pearson, with a loss most likely loosing him his spot on the UFC roster.
Hirota (18-8-2 MMA, 1-3-1 UFC) is also looking to bounce back after losing last time out to fellow competitor on tonight’s card Alexander “The Great” Volkanovski (16-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) via unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night 110, the same card his opponent Pearson last fought on. Hirota was scheduled to have another fight in between though, however, he was pulled by the UFC from competing against Charles “Boston Strong” (11-3 MMA, 2-3 UFC) at featherweight due to a scary weight cut, where he had to be assisted to standing up to the scale, being held up by his team. With 5 bouts in the UFC already, this will his UFC lightweight debut, as being 36 years old he can no longer make featherweight safety. Hirota’s only win on the UFC came against fellow veteran Cole “Magrinho” Miller (21-11 MMA, 10-9 UFC) via unanimous decision at UFC on FOX 22. This was the biggest win of Hirota’s MMA career.
The fight starts with the fighters feeling each other out. Pearson lands a leg kick. Hirota lands a jab. Another leg kick for Pearson, who lands a nice jab. Throws a jab but Hirota moves away. They exchange jabs. Hirota misses a hook. Hirota is holding his hands down. Pearson lands a body jab. Hirota lands a leg kick, and again. Pearson silps and lands. Pearson using good movement. Pearson lands a jab again. They clinch briefly. Hirota lands a jab. Hirota over extends and Pearson ends with a jumping knee.
TheMMATakeover scores the round 10-9 for Pearson.
The round starts with Hirota landing a leg kick. Hirota throws a right hand and lands. Pearson throws back. Hirota lands another leg kick. Pearson lands a good combination and Hirota backs up. They exchange combinations. Another leg kick lands. Pearson lands a body kick. Pearson lands a left. Pearson lands to the body. Pearson dodges a right hook. Pearson lands a good left hook. Pearson is very tactical in this fight. Hirota throws a flurry and lands a big right hand that staggered Pearson.
TheMMATakeover scores the round 10-9 for Pearson and 20-18 as a whole.
The round start with Hirota misses a hook. Hirota throws a jab and Pearson replied with a leg kick. Pearson throws and misses. Hirota lands a leg kick. Both faint and Pearson lands a jab. Pearson lands a uppercut. Pearson misses a headkick. Hirota lands a leg kick. Pearson throwing his left hook and getting more aggressive now. Pearson lands a leg kick and Hirota returns. Pearson throws a knee and misses. Good fight and close round.
TheMMATakeover scores the round 10-9 Pearson and the fight 30-27 Pearson.
Official Result: Ross Pearson DEF Mizuto Hirota by unanimous decison (30-27,30-27,29-28).