After a controversial split decision loss to Diego Sanchez at UFC Fight Night 42 this past weekend, lightweight Ross Pearson will appeal against the decision, per The Telegraph.
Dubbed by many the worst decision in UFC history, one of the three judges (namely Jeff Collins) even gave all three rounds to Diego Sanchez. Though perhaps not the entertaining war that had been promised in the lead-up to the fight, Ross Pearson outclassed Sanchez on the feet, was the more technical of the two and left Sanchez punching air throughout the full fifteen minutes. Pearson had also hurt his opponent on more than one occasion, though the hometown fighter was awarded a questionable decision.
Now, the Brit will appeal against the decision in the hopes that it will be overturned to a No Contest. This has been done in the past, though not in the UFC. Polish promotion KSW saw an overturned decision in a match-up between Mariusz Pudzianowski and James Thompson, after the Pole was awarded a controversial decision and Thompson responded by grabbing the microphone and calling out the judges.
Even Diego Sanchez himself stated that the 30-27 scorecard in his favour was ‘ridiculous’, but gave himself rounds 1 and 3. He states that he won the fight, though every MMA media member on MMA Decisions gave the fight in Pearson’s favour – all but one giving him all three rounds.
‘The Nightmare’ has since took to Twitter to call out Pearson for a rematch.
— Diego Sanchez UFC (@DiegoSanchezUFC) June 8, 2014
After the fight, ‘The Real Deal’ stated that he did not only feel robbed by the judges, but he also felt robbed of half of his paycheck. With Sanchez wanting to appear on the upcoming Mexico card and calling out Nate Diaz for the December show, perhaps a rematch with Ross Pearson could take place at that event.
The decision is unlikely to be overturned in truth, though a rematch may be forced upon Sanchez in the same way that the IBF forces a mandatory contender upon champions in boxing. Pearson made his thoughts known post-fight:
“That’s happened to me twice now. I’m going to have to think only about myself from now on when it comes to what city that I fight in. It’s not worth my record and my career to let this happen again.”
It is an unfortunate circumstance and, unfortunately for Pearson, one which is unlikely to be resolved in a way that the Brit hopes. A win would have been his third in four, and put him in reach of the top 15 of the division.
As Gareth Davies states:
“Only mistakes or errors by referees would see appeals upheld and results overturned or annulled.”
If an error is found in any potential investigation, that seems the only hope Pearson has of keeping a four-fight unbeaten streak alive. Coach Eric del Fierro joined Pearson in lodging a complaint to the New Mexico Athletic Commission, who will decide the fate rather than the UFC.