Ross Pearson has some serious momentum behind him as his scrap with Al Iaquinta this Friday nears, and the punishing striker clearly wants to keep the wave rolling at UFC Fight Night 55.
Heading into this week’s fight, Pearson has gone 3-1, with 1 no contest, in his last 5 bouts. The no contest was the result of a massive gash, and an illegal knee from Melvin Guillard. Pearson’s only loss during that stretch was via split decision to Diego Sanchez, which nearly everyone thought marked one of the worst judging gaffs in UFC history.
Most recently, Pearson put away Gray Maynard in impressive fashion at a Fight Night card in August, and the lightweight could be headed to the UFC’s top 15 rankings with another big win. Thus, this is why the British fighter recently told UFC.com:
“If this fight goes to a decision, it does nothing for me – I’ve got to finish this guy, I’ve got to look great, and I’ve got to scream out that I’m a Top 5 fighter wanting to go against the best guys in the world. I’m prepared for the worst, but I expect the best and I won’t be happy unless I finish Al Iaquinta in impressive fashion.”
A win over Iaquinta might not secure him a top ten ranked opponent next, but a top 15 guy certainly seems within reach.
Iaquinta has also showcased plenty of promise since he competed on TUF, but he’s incurred a couple of submission losses to Michael Chiesa and Mitch Clarke. Most recently the powerful fighter took out Rodrigo Damm with strikes at a Fight Night card in September. So what does Pearson think of Iaquinta’s skills?
“I don’t fear Al Iaquinta in any way. I don’t fear his striking, I don’t fear his wrestling and I don’t fear his Jiu-Jitsu. I don’t think he’s a better fighter than me. I don’t think he’s got more heart than me and I don’t think he’s got more want than me. I believe it’s going to be a tough fight and I think Al’s going to come as the best Al Iaquinta you’ve ever seen, but he has to be because if he isn’t, he’s going to get knocked out in the first 30 seconds.”
Okay then. Who will win aside, it definitely has the makings to be an excellent fight, and could steal the show if the headliner between Michael Bisping and Luke Rockhold somehow fails to deliver.
UFC FN 55 will be hosted by the Allphones Arena in Sydney, Australia and will be broadcast throughout the U.S. on Fight Pass.