CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Ross Pearson continues to show that his lackluster win over Andre Winner in the Season 9 finale of "The Ultimate Fighter" was a fluke. The young Brit again showed off a well-rounded game. Denis Siver gave Pearson, all he could handle, especially in the first round, but the Brit gave it back even stronger. Pearson wins the first fight on the televised portion of Ultimate Fight Night 21 via unanimous decision, 30-27 on all cards.
"I was prepared to go all three rounds," said Pearson, 25. "I know Denis is really tough. I'm a bit disappointed about not being able to land that connecting shot. Maybe if it was another round or two [I could've finished him]."
Siver, who has been relegated to mostly non-televised undercards on UFC pay-per-view shows, is a very underrated striker. His kicks are lethal, especially his spinning back kick. But Pearson did a good job of avoiding the kicks by controlling range. It had Siver (15-7, 4-4 UFC) whiffing badly with left hooks throughout the fight. Pearson (11-3, 3-0 UFC) responded with straight rights, head and body kicks and left hooks. By the end of the first round, Siver's nose was bloodied.
The Russian, fighting out of Germany, looked tired by the middle of the second round and couldn't catch Pearson with anything big the rest of the way. On the flip side, Pearson was winning most of the exchanges and look more fresh down the stretch.
Update: Pearson and Siver both got an extra $30,000 check earning the fight of the night honors.