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UFC Fight Night 30 results: Guillard vs. Pearson ends in controversial no-contest

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Esther Lin

The rule which enables a fighter to put his hand on the ground to technically become a grounded fighter reared its ugly head again on Saturday.

The lightweight fight between Melvin Guillard and Ross Pearson was just heating up at UFC Fight Night in Manchester, England.

Guillard landed a pair of knees to Pearson as Pearson attempted to get back to his feet along the fence. Guillard's first knee landed just after Pearson's knee came off the mat, making it a legal blow. But Pearson got his hand to the mat a split second before Guillard landed a second knee, making it technically illegal.

The second knee, though, opened a cut on Pearson's forehead, which brought the fight to a halt. Since the foul was unintentional, referee Marc Goddard ruled the bout was ruled a no-contest at 1:57.

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"Ross is a great fighter, we wanted fight of the night so bad," Guillard (31-12-2, 2 NC) said. "Unfortunately the second knee, the hand came down when I threw it and it ended the fight. I'll come back here and do it again."

Pearson (15-6, 1 NC), likewise, saw the finish as unfortunate. "I'm sorry this is not the way I wanted to go out," he said. "Me and Melvin wanted to put on a show for you guys. ... I was illegally attacked but things happen in this sport. Me and Melvin, let's do it again."

Guillard went on to explain that in the heat of the moment, he was more concerned with simply following up on the fight than whether Pearson's hand was touching the ground.

"When you're there fighting you're not thinking about what the guy's next move, you're thinking about what you can do," he said. "You're trying to win the fight, that's it. "

UFC regulatory vice-president Marc Ratner has been working with the Association of Boxing Commissions to change the "grounded fighter" rule, but as of now, it remains on the books.