UFC Quick Quote: Ross Pearson explains why the featherweight division wasn't a good fit

Matt Roberts

UFC lightweight Ross Pearson details the trouble he had making the featherweight limit in his two fights at the weight class last year. Pearson recently moved back up to 155-pounds and says that, despite being somewhat undersized for the division, the weight cut is not worth the physical trauma to his body and he would rather focus on skill and technique to make up for his lack of physical stature.

"Yeah, I'm staying at '55, I feel healthier there, I feel stronger there, I can lift and I can eat right, I can be strong, I can be healthy the whole week of fight week. When I was fighting Junior [Assuncao] at 145 the first fight, I was in bed the whole week leading up to that fight, the only time I got out of bed was to go run on the treadmill, cut weight, sit in the sauna, it was so hard. I couldn't speak, I couldn't talk, I felt like I was dying. My girlfriend and my parents were crying, you know, like, ‘What are you doing to yourself?' And I - normally on a fight day, fight week I have so much energy, I'm ready to go I'm so excited for the fight and for that I was just laying in bed looking like I was going to die, I was green, I wasn't in a good place, I was hurting man. So yeah, I think at 145 I lost love for the sport trying to make a crazy weight, you know? To me it doesn't matter about size, it doesn't matter about weight, it's all about technique and skill. You know the jiu-jitsu was based on a smaller guy beating a bigger guy. So, size and weight to me has nothing. It's about skill and technique, so that's what I'm going back too. Going back to my roots. To me, size and weight isn't really an issue, I don't mind fighting bigger guys...I'm not a wrestler, you know, I come from a striking background, trying to cut weight like a wrestler it just doesn't work for us. Guys who have been wrestling for 20 years, cutting weight every week they get it down to an art form. Yes I can make the weight and kill myself to do that weight, but it just wasn't me stepping in the cage 24-hours later. Although we did it right, my body wasn't used to it, I couldn't take it."

-- Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight Ross Pearson recounts his horrendous struggles attempting to make 145-pounds during his two-fight stint at the weight class in a recent interview with Fighters Only. "The Real Deal" made the decision to drop to featherweight after a split decision loss to Edson Barboza at UFC 134 in August 2011. Pearson picked up a win over Junior Assuncao in his debut at the weight class; however, his sophomore appearance at 145-pounds saw him end up on the wrong end of a knockout to dangerous striker Cub Swanson. Following his first loss due to strikes since 2007, The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season 9 winner moved back up to lightweight for a coaching stint on TUF: "The Smashes" opposite heated rival George Sotiropoulos, who he defeated by third-round technical knockout at UFC on FX 6 in December 2012. Now back at the weight class where he started his career, Pearson is scheduled to welcome Ryan Couture to the Octagon at UFC on FUEL TV 9: "Gustafsson vs. Mousasi" later this year in Sweden. It's clear from Pearson's comments that featherweight isn't the division for him and he simply wasn't the same when trying to cut down. Going forward, the British fighter plans to refine his techniques in order to defeat opponents physically larger than himself opposed putting his body through torture just for a size and strength advantage, which was essentially negated anyways after being weakened from the weight cut. Couture is a rather large lightweight, and it will be interesting to see how Pearson deals with it come April 9, 2013.

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