10 years ago, Ross ‘The Real Deal’ Pearson made his UFC debut by becoming the lightweight winner of The Ultimate Fighter season 9 when he defeated Andre Winner via unanimous decision. 25-fights later and the British slugger is now calling it a career.
“After some long hard talks, and careful consideration with my family, friends and team, I’ve decided it’s time to retire as an MMA fighter. As hard as that is to say, it’s not the end of my career as a competitor. I’ve always been a fighter, and right now I am keeping my mind open as to what’s next for me. I’d like take this time to thank everyone at the @UFC for having me for the past 10 years @danawhite for seeing something in me and believing in me for all these years ago. To my family, my teammates, and my friends, your support has been endless and I appreciate all of you – with a special shout out to all the north east training partners & coaches who where there for me in the beginning @grapplefit to @alliancemma for taking me in as part of the family, my wife @kristiejpearson for following my dream with me and all the guys at @centralcoastmma. .
And to all my fans , thanks for all the love & support !” Pearson said on Instagram.
Pearson’s last fight came at UFC Philadelphia when he suffered a first-round TKO loss to Desmond Green.
The Sunderland, England native was consistently one of the most entertaining strikers in the highly touted 155-pound weight class for the entirety of his tenure having fought several of the division’s best ranging from the likes of Edson Barboza and Jorge Masvidal to Paul Felder and Al Iaquinta. And those are just four of the several great fighters he went to war with in during his career.
The 34-year old Pearson will retire with a record of 20-16 (1 NC) in MMA and will always be remembered for bringing the fight to each and every opponent that stood across from him inside the Octagon.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/8/2019