The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season nine winner (and later coach) Ross Pearson took on TUF: Live runner-up Al Iaquinta in the co-main event of tonight's (Nov. 7, 2014) UFC Fight Night 55: "Rockhold vs. Bisping" event at Sydney, Australia on UFC Fight Pass.
This represented a stiff step up in competition for Iaquinta, with some doubt regarding how he would handle Pearson's blitzing pressure and heavy firepower.
He held up just fine.
Actually, he matched it shot for shot before delivering in a big way in the second round. Pearson came rushing in with a head kick and left his head open, a mistake that cost him when Iaquinta came over the top with a counter right hand. That put "The Real Deal" on the mat and his follow up onslaught of punches was too much for the Englishman to overcome.
An uppercut was the punch that finished the job, as the referee was forced to jump in and stop it.
As Dan Hardy put it in the post-fight interview, that's a big win for a young fighter against a respected opponent while he makes his way up the ranks. This should earn him a much bigger fight.
His immediate plans? "Suplex a kangaroo, put Jaws in the camel clutch, and make the lightweight division humble."
For complete UFC Fight Night 55 results and coverage of every bout on the card click here.