MMA pundits would have to search long and hard to find a group of people who felt Diego Sanchez did enough to beat Ross Pearson at UFC Fight Night 42, but as it turns out, two of the judges on hand in Albuquerque believed just that.
Now, following what was almost unanimously viewed as one of the worst decisions in UFC history, "The Real Deal" spoke on Monday's edition of Ariel Helwani's "The MMA Hour" to voice his disbelief on the subject, per MMA Fighting:
"The whole world knows that I won the fight, I know I won the fight," Pearson said. "It just looks bad on my career. This was the last fight on my UFC contract, coming from a no-contest with Melvin which wasn't my fault, than [sic] having this, which isn't my fault, doesn't look good from my situation with the UFC, you know what I mean? This is a fight game, the UFC can't sell ‘Ross Pearson narrowly lost a judges' decision to Diego Sanchez' in his next fight, you know what I mean? I can't go main event in a card now."
After a brief stint at featherweight where he went 1-1, Pearson returned to his natural weight class at 155 pounds and scored back-to-back TKO's over George Sotiropoulos and Ryan Couture.
However, as he mentioned, he has since fallen on some hard luck, as he fought Melvin Guillard to a no-contest at UFC Fight Night 30 in October, an illegal knee rendering him unable to continue.
Then, of course, Saturday produced a real head-scratcher of a decision, to say the least, which saw a bloody and uncharacteristically tentative Sanchez get the nod.
Pearson also confirmed on "The MMA Hour" that he has indeed filed an appeal with the New Mexico Athletic Commission over the puzzling decision, though he also admitted that he isn't expecting that to change anything.
Despite getting roasted in the court of public opinion, Sanchez maintains the belief that he won the fight, though he tweeted his willingness to rematch Pearson in a five-rounder.
Additionally, the English striker said on the show that he has no problem with this notion, and UFC/FOX Sports 1 color commentator Jon Anik stated that this appears to be the route the UFC will take:
Rematch is likely next course of action for Ross Pearson and Diego Sanchez. Just not sure there is a ton of upside in that for Pearson.—Jon Anik (@Jon_Anik) June 9, 2014
Sanchez is now 2-2 since opting to stop fighting at welterweight, defeating Pearson and Takanori Gomi (at a 158-pound catchweight) in another disputed decision and then losing to top contenders Gilbert Melendez and Myles Jury.
In the event that a second rendezvous with Pearson does not materialize, Sanchez has expressed his interest in a grudge match with fellow ex-UFC light title challenger Nate Diaz, though the Stockton bad boy isn't interested, per MMA Mania.
Sanchez defeated Nate's older brother, Nick Diaz, via unanimous decision all the way back at The Ultimate Fighter Season 2 Finale in November 2005.
Is Sanchez vs. Pearson II the best plan of action for the UFC, or would it essentially just be a waste of time for Pearson?