Will Brooks and Ross Pearson engaged in a closely fought battle for the full 15 minutes tonight at the TUF 23 Finale, with the debuting Brooks emerging with his hand raised courtesy of a unanimous decision victory.
Leg kick for Pearson and one in return for Brooks. Both men flash out the jab and then Brooks lands another leg kick. Solid one from Pearson and Brooks tries to counter with punches.
Brooks tries to clinch up, but Pearson lands a knee and then they break apart. Nice leaping jab from Pearson. Good knee from Brooks. Body kick for Pearson.
Pearson swings and misses on a hook. Leaping left hook for Pearson, knee for Brooks. Body punch from the Brit. Clinch for Brooks and tries for a trip takedown, but Pearson stays upright and the former Bellator champ settles for pressing him up against the cage.
Brooks with an elbow and tries to work the takedown, but Pearson’s defending for now with his back up against the fence, so Brooks opts to back away.
Body kick for Brooks and Pearson misses with one of his own. Body punch from Pearson seems to buckle Brooks for a moment, but he gets right back into the action unphazed.
Brooks into the clinch against the cage looking for a takedown. Pearson manages to reverse the position. Knee for Brooks. They continue to jockey for position against the cage until the end of the round.
Leg kick for Pearson and an uppercut in return from Brooks. Both men come up a little short punches. Knee to the body from Brooks and eats punches in response.
Pearson with a leg kick. Brooks does the same. Body punch for Pearson and a leg kick for Brooks. One-two connects for Brooks.
Brooks bursts into a nice takedown and lands it. He postures up and looks to land strikes and then is back into Pearson’s full guard.
Brooks lands a punch. Pearson scrambles to his feet, but Brooks gets his back and he has to go back to his knees. Pearson back up and gets over to the cage as Brooks continues to remain clinching his back.
Pearson is able to reverse the position and now presses Brooks up against the cage. Knee from Brooks. Another lands to the body. Brooks reverses and puts more power into a knee to the body. More of the same from Brooks and they continue to grapple against the cage.
Nice uppercut from Pearson. They break away and Brooks lands a couple of solid punches to the head and body. Nice combo from Brooks and then a strike from Pearson knocks Brooks off-balance to the mat. Pearson standing over him and that’s where the round ends.
Pearson with a few good strikes to start the final round. Brooks thinks about a takedown, then stays upright with punches.
Good body kick for Pearson and he’s looking dangerous early in this last five minutes. Brooks tries for a takedown again, and again it’s stuffed.
Clinch against the cage and Pearson is leading the dance for now. Low blow resets the two in the middle of the cage. One-two for Brooks and a left hook for Pearson.
Brooks with a nice knee. They clinch in the middle of the cage and Pearson lands a knee to the body and a chopping elbow to the head.
Sneaky body shot from Pearson there. Elbow from Brooks. One-two for Pearson. Right hand for Brooks. Pearson drills his opponent with a couple of body shots and then a left hook upstairs. Very competitive stuff here.
Pearson with a body kick and then eats a straight punch from Brooks. Brooks with his back up against the cage and Pearson starts to work him over with repeated punches, though most of them are caught on Brooks gloves as he covers up.
Again Pearson unloads punches against the cage, first working the body and then to the head. Brooks briefly returns fire. Brooks reverses the position and then walks away.
Pearson into the clinch and works knees, but then Brooks suddenly lands a takedown. Pearson straight back up and they clinch again, with Pearson reversing against the cage. THey go back and forth against the fence. Brooks with a nice elbow.
Pearson with the knee to the body, lands a couple of punches and eats an elbow from Brooks as the fight comes to a conclusion.
Very close, competitive stuff here for the full 15 minutes, but there can be only one winner and it’s the newcomer Brooks who gets his UFC career off to a good start with a unanimous decision victory (29-28 x3).