British MMA icon Ross Pearson spoke to us here at Pundit Arena as he enters his tenth year in the world’s premier MMA promotion.
A decade in the UFC is no easy feat – especially in a division as historically stacked to the brim with talent as 155lbs.
Pearson has seen his fair share of ups and downs inside the octagon over the years, going an even 12-12 ahead of this, his UFC Philadelphia showdown against Desmond Green tonight.
With this being his twenty-fifth fight at the highest level, at the age of 34, the Sunderland legend spoke to us here at Pundit Arena about his hunger and drive to continue to learn, even now.
“It’s definitely not as easy physically but mentally yeah, 100%, I am still there. It does take a good hour to warm up and stretch before my body feels good again and it hurts after training. It takes longer to recover and I do feel the effect.
“Mentally, though, I feel just like I did as a kid. I’m not as crazy as I was back then in the sense that I didn’t really know what I was doing. I was literally just saying ‘f**k it, I’m going to just go out and have a go’.”
“Now, I’ve gained all this experience – some wins, some losses, good camps, bad camps, injuries, rehab.”
Coming into the UFC on the back of becoming the second Englishman to win The Ultimate Fighter, the first half of Pearson’s UFC run saw him clash with the likes of Edson Barboza, Cub Swanson, Melvin Guillard, and Diego Sanchez.
Over the years, he has proven himself to be amongst the most game fighters around and in his last outing – an absolute thriller with John Makdessi – he proved exactly how committed to this sport his remains.
“I’ve learned a lot about the sport, about training, about the physiological side and it’s just different, it’s different to when you don’t know what the f**k you’re doing game-plan-wise and training-camp-wise.
“I’ve learned a lot, I’ve done good things and I’ve done bad things and I’m putting them all together to make sure it’s right. I’m born to do this. Fighting is my life. I don’t want to do anything else.”
Pearson will make his walk for the twenty-fifth time tonight as he looks to hand Desmond Green a brutal loss to cap off his own incredible decade in the sport.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena