Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone as UFC Fight Night 42 blew the roof of the Tingley Arena last Saturday night (June 7, 2014) in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Plenty of fighters were left licking their wounds, including Erik Perez -- who was choked out by Bryan Caraway (recap) -- and Rustam Khabilov -- who was submitted by Ben Henderson in the main event (video).
But, which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover now 48 hours removed from an action-packed weekend?
"Real Deal" looked to make it three wins in a row as he took on Diego Sanchez in the co-main event of the evening.
Unfortunately for Ross, he didn't do enough to convince the judges he won the bout, even though the majority of the mixed martial arts (MMA) community felt he did. But as Dana White likes to tell his fighters over and over (and over) again, you don't want to leave it in the hands of the judges.
But in this case, other than getting the knockout or submission, there wasn't really much else Pearson could have done right. He fought at a good pace, picked his shots, countered perfectly and drilled Diego with some hard shots (relive it here).
I gave Pearson round one, but it was a closer round than people think. Round two was an obvious win for Pearson, as he floored "The Nightmare" with a powerful right, though he couldn't capitalize on it.
Going into the final round likely believing he was up 2-0, Ross didn't necessarily play it safe and still tried to get the finish; a tough thing to ask of anyone facing Diego, a man who has only been stopped once (doctor stoppage), and in his hometown, no less.
Late in the third, "Real Deal" stunned Diego with a brutal kick to the body and followed it up with a nice two-punch combination that had Sanchez reeling, if only for a little bit. Still, Pearson fought a near-perfect third round which should have given him the "W."
It didn't, as he lost a split decision.
But that's a testament to Diego's toughness, as he took Pearson's shots and kept coming forward, refusing to just wilt and crumble. Something that could have swayed the judges. So let's give credit where credit is due, Sanchez did his part.
It's real easy to play Monday morning quarterback and pick at the all the wrong things an athlete did two days prior. But in this case, you can't. If anything, you dissect the all things Pearson did well. He floored Diego in the second, he proved to be the more technical striker, he didn't stall in the third -- which most fighters believing they're ahead do -- and above all else, he didn't lose his cool.
He could have easily went full berserker mode to secure a win and hopefully land a knockout in the final frame, but as we've seen in the past, those types of brawls are Diego's specialty. Sanchez thrives in those instances. He feeds off emotion and you can bet he would have fed off the hometown crowd's chants.
Something that could have proved disastrous for Pearson, who immediate filed an appeal with the New Mexico athletic commission, according to Telegraph:
Telegraph Sport can reveal that Pearson and coach Eric Del Fierro had lodged a complaint with the New Mexico Commission straight after the fight and lodged an appeal.
It is likely never to be overturned, unless there were an investigation which uncovered anything deliberate or malicious in the act of scoring. Only mistakes or errors by referees would see appeals upheld and results overturned or annulled.
Instead, Pearson stuck to the gameplan, but unfortunately it wasn't enough. But don't blame Diego. I find it odd when fans turn on the fighter awarded the controversial decision, as if they had something to do with the flawed judging system (LOL at 30-27 Sanchez).
But instead of going on and on about it that touchy subject, I'll just direct you here.