After compiling a 4-2 mark inside the Octagon as a lightweight, Ultimate Fighter Season 9 champ Ross Pearson is following the lead of former 155ers Kenny Florian and Tyson Griffin and dipping down to featherweight for the foreseeable future. Though he may have claimed victory over a number of legitimate foes including Spencer Fisher, Aaron Riley, and Dennis Siver, the 5’8” Pearson knows how elusive title-fights can be and views the 145-pound division as being a bit more ripe for the picking than his current home.
The still-evolving Brit recently discussed his decision, saying the cut has gone smoothly so far and that he hopes to make his featherweight debut before the end of 2011.
“You hear Dana saying all the time that these athletes in the sport have got a small window of opportunity, and I just feel like I fit in well in the 145-pound division,” Pearson explained in a conversation with HeavyMMA. “I’m 27-years-old now, and (I want) big fights, big opportunities. I’m not in this sport because I just want to fight this guy, fight that guy; I want to be the best.”
“I’m getting to the age in my career where my body is performing its best ”” I’m getting to my physical peak ”” and I want to make a run for a title shot,” he continued. “I just see that the (145-pound) division would be the fastest way to getting to a title shot.”
Pearson went on to state he was currently at about 165 pounds, ten below where he’d normally be at this point in a camp.
“I feel fast, man. I feel good,” he glowed.
In terms of when fans may see him at featherweight, Pearson said he’d already spoken to the UFC and requested a bout at UFC 141.
“I haven’t heard anything back in terms of an opponent,” he Pearson elaborated. “That’s when I’d be prepared and ready to go, and I’d have a full, solid camp behind me.”
The well-rounded Pearson holds an overall record of 12-5 with eight stoppages including three TKOs and five submissions. His last match-up came in Brazil at UFC 134 and resulted in a Split Decision defeat to Edson Barboza though the bout still won the event’s “Fight of the Night” award.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC