Ross Pearson stayed composed tonight against Diego Sanchez tonight at UFC Fight Night 42, outboxing the hometown hero over the course of three rounds, only to find himself on the losing end of a split decision.
Sanchez ultra-fired up for this one in front of his hometown fans. Sanchez with a left and a right, but Pearson sees it coming and ducks.
Pearson digs to the body. Sanchez tries a head kick and Pearson almost ducks into it. Sanchez with another punch that misses and Pearson counters to the body.
Pearson misses with a leaping left hook, but lands his best body punch so far afterwards. Pearson knocks Sanchez back with a quality straight punch.
Good body kick from Pearson. He comes forward looking for more and Sanchez counters with a left hook.
Pearson circling, pumping out the jab. Sanchez lands a kick. Missed right from Sanchez and Pearson counters to the body yet again.
Body kick from Pearson, really targeting the mid-section so far. Crowd starts making noise trying to get Sanchez going.
Sanchez lands a spinning kick to the body. Then he charges forward in typical Diego style throwing a flurry of punches, but Pearson backs away and gets out of danger.
Pearson with another flurry of strikes in the final 10 seconds and again Pearson is forced to cover up and get out of the way of the charging bull in front of him.
Sanchez ducks down for a single early in the second round, but Pearson gets out of it. Body kick from Sanchez.
Another body kick from Sanchez, but Pearson is taking the center of the Octagon and looking to hunt him.
Pearson lands a glancing head kick as Sanchez backs away, but he just smiles and motions for the Brit to come ahead.
Pearson may have landed something there in a close exchange and Sanchez backs away, perhaps hurt. Maybe not though as he suddenly fires off a big head kick, but it’s blocked.
Pearson landing the better of the shots so far in this round, patiently picking away at his opponent. Sanchez lands a body kick.
Pearson fires off a body kick of his own and Sanchez responds with a right hand. Pearson working behind the jab and then lands a big right hand that takes his legs out from under him.
Only for a moment though and Sanchez gets right back up to his feet and is amped up, motioning at Pearson to come to him.
Pearson moving forward and sweeps Sanchez’s legs to put him on his butt again for a moment.
Back on his feet Sanchez takes the fight back to Pearson with punches just as the round comes to a close.
Sanchez trying to be aggressive with strikes but misses and Pearson lands to the body with a kick. Again Sanchez fires off a two-piece combo, but it’s somewhat telegraphed and Pearson moves out of the way.
Pearson staying light on his feet here, happy to just pick his moments to outbox the hometown favorite.
Pearson stumbles slightly and Sanchez tries to capitalize, pressing forward with a jumping kick which Pearson moves out of the way and then almost catches on the way past.
Good body shot from Pearson. Half the round to go and Sanchez misses with a spinning kick and Pearson responds by landing a little flurry of strikes.
Left hook wings past Pearson’s head. Pearson lands a nice right hand and Sanchez has blood leaking down from his right eye.
Nice flurry of punches lands solidly for Pearson, but Sanchez eats it.
Good left hook from Pearson in the final minute. Sanchez with a spinning head kick, but Pearson ducks under it.
Couple of punches land for Sanchez. Pearson backs him up with a combination of punches against the cage. Sanchez bites down on his gumshield and the two go toe-to-toe throwing strikes for the final few seconds and it’s Pearson who gets the better of it with nice head movement and placed punches.
It looked like a good win for Pearson to me, but two of the three judges see it for Sanchez and he earns a split decision victory (30-27, 27-30, 29-28).
Dodgy decision in my book I’m afraid.