UFC on FX 6: What We Learned from Sotiropoulos vs. Pearson
OK, that was awesome.
After Team UK and Team Australia split the evening's The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes finale matchups, Ross Pearson and George Sotiropoulos squared off to determine whose nation reigned supreme.
With a stiff straight left and a crushing right hook to follow it, Ross "The Real Deal" Pearson made sure that honor belonged to England.
The two former The Ultimate Fighter contestants participated in an action-packed three-round affair, and Pearson made it clear from the onset that he would lead in this dance of death.
What we'll remember about the fight
Ross Pearson looked awesome, and George Sotiropoulos needs to have his chin enshrined in the Keith Jardine Glass Factory.
Pearson's sharp hands and crisp movement were too much for Sotiropoulos to handle and he was repeatedly blasted from the get-go.
Sotriopoulos is no longer the man who took the lightweight division by storm from 2008-2010, and Pearson is looking better than ever.
What we learned about Pearson
Pearson is not done.
He has alternated wins and losses in his last six contests, but the losses (to Edson Barboza, Cole Miller and Cub Swanson) were much more decisive than his victories.
I, for one, questioned where Pearson was as a mixed martial artist, but he put on a boxing clinic in this bout and reminded us just how fearsome his power can be.
What we learned about Sotiropoulos
George needs to stop taking fights in his native Australia.
The land down under was the location for his UFC lightweight title bid derailment at the hands of Dennis Siver at UFC 127, and now he finds himself on the wrong end of a vicious KO in his home country.
We already knew George Sotriopoulos couldn't take a punch, so not much was learned here. GST is awesome whenever he is dictating the action and controlling the fight, particularly on the ground, but he does not fare well in the face of pressure and adversity. T
hat was the theme of this fight, and Pearson confirmed all the suspicions we had about the Australian.
What's next for Pearson?
Ross Pearson looked much better at lightweight than he has at featherweight, and I think his next fight needs to come at 155.
He looked good, but I'm still not sure he can hang with the top dogs. Yves Edwards, who is coming off a nice knockout victory himself, would be a fun matchup.
What's next for Sotiropoulos?
Chin implants, perhaps? Iron fortification?
In all seriousness, Sotiropoulos needs to reevaluate his career and decide what he wants to do moving forward.
I'm not sure he has a lot more to give to this division.
And while he would be a solid gatekeeper, I'm not sure he has the fire inside of him to continue getting beat up if he can forge a career training and coaching up-and-comers, instead.
He has excellent credentials, but I think we've seen the best he has to offer.
A safe matchup against somebody with rudimentary standup skills would be favorable for him and Mark Bocek fits the bill. I'm not sure how this fight would develop on the feet, but it could definitely turn into a high-level grappling contest.
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