Warming up in his dressing room prior to the fight, Pearson launched a kick into a pad held by coach Eric Del Fierro, and he heard a cracking noise. Thinking that he had just broken his foot. Pearson shrugged it off, went out to Octagon, and TKO’d Ryan Couture.
“I think I broke my foot in the back warming up,” Pearson said later. “The very first kick I threw hit the pad and then hit coach Eric Del Fierro’s elbow.”
Pearson didn’t make it to the UFC on Fuel TV 9 post-fight press conference; he instead celebrated by taking a trip to the hospital to get his foot checked.
The medical check revealed that his foot, although damaged, wasn’t broken as he first thought.
“Thank U everyone for support! Docs said not broken! Crazy night,” Pearson wrote on Twitter on Sunday.
That he fought through what he thought was a broken foot wasn’t lost on UFC president Dana White. He praised Pearson for toughing it out at an event that had already taken a major hit to its main event. Gegard Mousasi ended up fighting Alexander Gustafsson training partner Ilir Latifi when Gustafsson suffered a cut that forced him out of the fight just days before the event.
“He breaks his foot in the back, doesn't tell anybody, goes out and fights and ends up knocking out Ryan Couture,” said White. “So, much respect to him.”
But it was all in a day’s work for Pearson, who tweeted, “@danawhite thanks for kind words! Pulling out was never an option I'm here to fight, honored to be apart of @ufc.”
(Photo courtesy of Ross Pearson)