In the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 42, a lightweight battle between Diego Sanchez and Ross Pearson was set to entertain the crowd at Tingley Coliseum in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
After an impressive performance from flyweight contender John Dodson, Sanchez and Pearson watched the bar raise and they would need to put on a show to keep the momentum rolling.
Every time Sanchez steps in the cage, we can expect to see a wild fight and Pearson is another gamer that is not afraid to throw down.
Round 1: Sanchez immediately took the center of the Octagon with the crazy look in his eyes that we have seen from him in the past for many of his wild wars. Sanchez was looking for a lead uppercut in the opening exchanges while Pearson was staying calm and not engaging in any exchanges. Pearson was landing some solid strikes with his counter punches thanks to his crisp technique. Both men were showing some patience in the early going and respect for their opponents stand up, but neither fighter was looking for a takedown. Sanchez caught a leg kick from Pearson and looked like he was preparing one of his wild flurries, but he landed one shot and then backed up to the center of the cage. With a few seconds to go, Sanchez unleashed multiple hooks but Pearson circled away and avoided any major damage.
Round 2: Sanchez shot for a single at the beginning of the round, but Pearson stepped out of the take down attempt and the two remained in the center of the cage. Sanchez missed a spinning backfist and Pearson landed a head kick, which led to Sanchez asking Pearson for more as he waved his opponent forward. Pearson was finding a home for his right hand from a distance while Sanchez looked ready to bite down on his mouthpiece and throw caution to the wind. Pearson dropped Sanchez with a huge right hand as the intensity began to pick up. Sanchez ended the round with another flurry, but Pearson was getting the better of each exchange.
Round 3: Sanchez’s corner urged him to control the pace of the final round if he wanted to come away with the win and he was putting the pressure on Pearson early, but Pearson was staying disciplined and finding success at range. Sanchez attempted a flying knee, but Pearson easily moved out of the way of the attack. Pearson continued to find a home to the body and prescious time was ticking off of the clock. Pearson’s counters were the difference maker in the third round like they had been for a majority of the fight and Sanchez was down to just a minute to go. Pearson landed a strong left hook when Sanchez looked to come in but Sanchez continued to press forward. The fight ended with a classic Sanchez exchanged, but it didn’t seem to be enough as the fight headed to the judges scorecards.
Official Result: Diego Sanchez def. Ross Pearson via split-decision (30-27, 27-30, 29-28)
The full results from today’s event can be seen below:
Benson Henderson vs. Rustam Khabilov
Diego Sanchez def. Ross Pearson via split-decision (30-27, 27-30, 29-28)
John Dodson def. John Moraga via TKO (doctor stoppage) – Round 2, 5:00
Rafael dos Anjos def. Jason High via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 3:36
Piotr Hallmann def. Yves Edwards via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 2:31
Bryan Caraway def. Erik Perez via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 1:52
Sergio Pettis def. Yaotzin Meza via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Lance Benoist def. Bobby Voelker via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Scott Jorgensen def. Danny Martinez via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Jon Tuck def. Jake Lindsey via submission (heel strike to body) – Round 3, 2:47
Patrick Cummins def. Roger Narvaez via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 2:28