Pearson puts rugby league players through their paces

Mike Wilkinson, Brett Carter, Stuart Fielden, Jordan James and Ross Pearson.

Mike Wilkinson, Brett Carter, Stuart Fielden, Jordan James and Ross Pearson.

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UFC star Ross Pearson has been giving rugby league players tips on staying in peak shape.

The Sunderland man was joined by fellow UFC fighter Mike Wilkinson to put three potential stars of Rugby League World Cup 2013 through their paces at Virgin Active in Salford Quays this week.

Pearson and Wilkinson visited Manchester ahead of their upcoming bouts at UFC Manchester 2013, which takes place at the Phones4U Arena on October 26, and took the chance to train with the international rugby league players.

Scotland full-back Brett Carter, Wales forward Jordan James and Ireland forward Stuart Fielden are all looking for glory at the World Cup, which is held in England and Wales from last October through to the final at Old Trafford on November 30.

Wales and Salford star Jordan James was left impressed by the levels of intensity demonstrated by UFC fighters. He said: “You can see what these guys put themselves through and they are elite athletes just like us.

“They’re small guys but they know how to use their weight. They’re fast too and they’d probably run rings around me. I definitely think the two sports can learn a lot from each other.”

UFC returns to Manchester for the first time in three years in October, with an event headlined by Lancashire UFC star Michael Bisping, who takes on US fighter Mark Munoz.

Pearson will compete in the co-main event and he led the day’s training session.

“Before the session, I knew that some rugby league clubs used MMA into their team training, but it was interesting to hear how much wrestling and conditioning is involved,” he said.

“Brett, Jordan and Stuart were all pretty impressive. They picked up what we were showing them quickly, and it was good to show them just how tiring a five-minute round can be in UFC.

“Mike and I really enjoyed today’s session and it felt great being in Manchester and knowing that I’ll be here in a couple of months to co-headline UFC Manchester and fight in front of British fans.”