UFC Fight Night 30 Video Highlights: Guillard's Controversial Knee on Pearson
UFC Fight Night 30 was one of the strangest fight cards of the year. The evening's strangeness may have hit its high point in the co-main event, a lightweight bout between Ross Pearson and Melvin Guillard, two strikers who appeared poised to compete for the event's Fight of the Night honors.
Less than two minutes into the first round, a different plan emerged.
Along the cage fence, Guillard pressed the action, landing two knees to Pearson's head. In the second, Pearson's hand may have been brushing the ground, which would have rendered the strike illegal.
Referee Marc Goddard stopped the fight so a doctor could examine the newly opened cut on Pearson's forehead. Pearson immediately protested the timeout, asserting that he was fine to continue but perhaps believing Goddard was calling for a stoppage. Meanwhile, Guillard spread his arms in confusion. After examining Pearson, the doctor ruled Pearson could not continue, and the fight was subsequently judged a No Contest.
In post-fight interviews, both men indicated a desire for a rematch. The UFC acted quickly, adding the rematch to a March 8 card scheduled to take place in London.
The "downed opponent" rule in question has long been a source of controversy in MMA circles. It is likely that this latest incident will only fuel that controversy.
Coming into UFC Fight Night 30, Pearson was aiming to make himself 3-0 in his return to the 155-pound division, following a 1-1 experiment as a featherweight.
In his last fight, Louisiana native Guillard won for the first time in his last three contests, continuing a streak of inconsistency that has followed him throughout his career.
Between them, the two men have 25 career wins by way of knockout. This was the first No Contest ruling of Pearson's career, and the second for Guillard.
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