In his first fight at featherweight, Ross Pearson survived Junior Assuncao's jiu-jitsu to take a decision at UFC 141 in Las Vegas on Friday. The winner of season nine of "The Ultimate Fighter" took the bout 29-28, 29-28, 30-27 on the judges cards.
Assuncao took Pearson down early in the first round, then got his back before Pearson escaped. Assuncao moved well as Pearson stalked him around the cage. Halfway through the round, Assuncao tried for another takedown, but was unsuccessful. As the round neared its end, Pearson was able to land a few punches and kicks, but Assuncao's movement kept him from landing anything substantial.
In the second round, Assuncao continued to work for a takedown but took plenty of punishment for it. Pearson figured out Assuncao's movement and landed a jab that shook Assuncao. He used that to move into the clinch and land short strikes. Assuncao returned to the takedown attempt, but Pearson held him off.
Assuncao started the third round out well, catching Pearson with a jab and taking him down. Assuncao moved to Pearson's back, but couldn't do anything with the position as Pearson maneuvered back to his feet. For the rest of the round, Pearson moved forward and landed damaging shots to Assuncao.
After winning TUF, Pearson won two fights before losing bouts to Cole Miller and Edson Barboza. This was his first time dropping down to 145 lbs.