UFC fighter Ross Pearson, from Sunderland
UFC fighter Ross Pearson, from Sunderland
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SUNDERLAND’S very own UFC star Ross Pearson is blogging exclusively for as he prepares to fight in Brazil next week. Here’s his first edition.

I’M HERE in California preparing for my big fight in Rio, Brazil, at UFC 134 on August 24.

All 20,000 tickets sold out in under 10 minutes. It’s the first UFC fight in Rio for over 13 years and it is going to be a huge celebration of the sport in Brazil.

I’m fighting on the main card, against one of the best prospects in Brazilian MMA named Edson Barboza.

He is 8-0 and is getting a reputation as someone who could be Brazil’s next Anderson Silva – the best fighter in the world who is headlining the event.

I know I’m going to get a very frosty reception from the fans when I fight in Rio, but I am looking forward to it.

When I fought at UFC 105 in Manchester a couple of years ago, I got an amazing amount of support, when I found in Sydney in February at UFC 127 I won the crowd over fighting an American on neutral ground, so I guess it is now my turn for an “away game”.

Any booing won’t bother me. I’m going to beat Edson no matter what.

I had one setback in the UFC, a year ago, when I lost to Cole Miller. I twisted my knee badly during the fight and couldn’t get out the way of his shots.

Things happen in fights, but after surgery I went to Sydney to beat a good fighter in Spencer Fisher.

Things are now back on track for me and a win on such a huge card – it will be televised to in over 150 countries, which is three more than the Oprah show – will help me break into the world top 10.

I left the UK for California five weeks ago. While I’ve been based in the UK for most of my training camps, I also knew the time had come for me to train with some of the best coaches and sparring partners I could find in the US.

I’m really pushing hard to take myself to the next level in all aspects of the sport – boxing, kick-boxing, wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu.

I love training, sometimes my coaches have to hold me back so I don’t overdo it. Some people find it boring, but I love the routine.

I’m a little weird in that I go in, do the same warm-ups and then get to work. I think I’m a little OCD, because I always brush my teeth before warm-ups ... so at least my dentist will be happy as a train four sessions a day.

It’s not all been hard work out there though. I was lucky enough to be invited to the X Games and had a great day off there.

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{|CLICK HERE} to see Ross’s official UFC profile.