After a brief drop to featherweight, Ross Pearson returned to where he came from, the 155-pound division, with a challenging match against former lightweight contender Georges Sotiropoulos. The bout had been long simmering, as the two coached against each other on the UK vs. Australia edition of The Ultimate Fighter, and grew a dislike for each other as a result.
Before the fight, Pearson said he would be fighting with anger for the first time, but when it came time to compete in the UFC on FX 6 main event, he fought with self-control, carefully choosing his spots in picking apart Sotiropoulos, chopping him down bit by bit en route to a TKO victory.
The finish came 41 seconds into the third round.
Pearson knocked Sotiropoulos down four times in the fight, at least once in each round. In the previous occasions, Sotiropoulos was able to force a clinch and give himself recovery time, but Pearson didn't also didn't blow his energy reserves trying to force the finish. He showed patience and just continued on methodically, taking complete control of the bout.
"It was just patience," he said afterward. "I knew when I wanted to land. I knew all along I just need to touch him."
Pearson established himself as the superior striker early on with a power right, a punch that left Sotiropoulos on wobbly legs. Pearson dropped him in the second with a left hook, and in the third, finished with a left hook/right hand combo. By that time, Sotiropoulos was bloodied, bruised, and just had enough.
Sotiropoulos did put a scare into the Brit in the last minute of the first round after scoring his only takedown in six tries. After that, he quickly got Pearson's back and worked to sink in the choke. Pearson denied him and got free, and that was really Sotiropoulos' last stand.
In winning his return to lightweight, Pearson improved to 14-6 while Sotiropoulos dropped his third straight and is now 14-5.