Ross Pearson has hung up his four-ounce gloves for good.
On Monday night, the 34-year-old took took to Instagram to announce he was heading for retirement after 15 years of professional fighting.
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After some long hard talks, and careful consideration with my family, friends and team, I’ve decided it's time to retire as an MMA fighter. As hard as that is to say, it’s not the end of my career as a competitor. I’ve always been a fighter, and right now I am keeping my mind open as to what's next for me. I'd like take this time to thank everyone at the @UFC for having me for the past 10 years @danawhite for seeing something in me and believing in me for all these years ago. To my family, my teammates, and my friends, your support has been endless and I appreciate all of you - with a special shout out to all the north east training partners & coaches who where there for me in the beginning @grapplefit to @alliancemma for taking me in as part of the family, my wife @kristiejpearson for following my dream with me and all the guys at @centralcoastmma. . And to all my fans , thanks for all the love & support ! Ross “The Real Deal” Pearson
Pearson (20-16-1) broke into the UFC after winning Season 9 of The Ultimate Fighter. Dubbed TUF: United States vs. United Kingdom, the man known as “The Real Deal” rattled off wins over American foes A.J. Wenn, Richie Whitson and Jason Dent before winning the tournament against teammate Andre Winner.
From here, the Englishman would score notable wins over Dennis Siver, Spencer Fisher and Junior Assunção before securing a coaching gig opposite George Sotiropoulos on TUF: The Smashes, which featured young upstarts such as Norman Parke, Brad Scott and current middleweight champion Robert Whittaker.
After eventually securing victory over his Australian rival, Pearson would trade wins and losses — which included knockouts over Gray Maynard and Sam Stout — over the next four years before dropping four straight from 2016 to 2017. While he would eventually right the ship with a win over Mizuto Hirota, he would suffer two more defeats at the hands of John Makdessi and Desmond Green before deciding to call it a career.
Pearson heads into retirement with 12 career stoppage wins, including seven by way of (T)KO, and three Fight of the Night bonuses.