Pearson vow after win in 10th UFC bout

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ROSS “the Real Deal” Pearson has promised that the “best is yet to come” after marking his 10th outing for the Ultimate Fighting Championship with victory.

The Sunderland grappler secured a second round win over American Ryan Couture - son of UFC hall of famer Randy – in Sweden on Saturday night to register a second straight success in the lightweight division.

Despite suffering a foot injury in his warm-up, Pearson was able to seal a second round stoppage after pinning Couture against the cage wall with a barrage of punches before he dropped to the mat.

And the 28-year-old believes the victory was evidence of the improvement to his mixed martial arts skill-set since moving to San Diego to train two years ago. Pearson said: “That was my 10th fight in the UFC and the best is still to come. “Practice makes perfect, I love what I do and I’m honoured to be part of the UFC. I’m getting better, maturing and the best is yet to come.

“The fight went pretty much to plan.

“It took me a round to figure out what he was trying to do, but I always felt in control. It was obvious that he wanted to put me up against the fence and try to take me out, but my takedown defence and my wrestling came through.

“My coach in my corner said believe in my wrestling and that’s what I did.”

But while there was euphoria for Pearson, there was utter despair for fellow Sunderland fighter Phil De Fries at the event in Stockholm after the heavyweight was beaten just 19 seconds into his bout against former NFL football player Matt Mitrione.

De Fries twice attempted to take down Mitrione after the opening bell, but was sent to the canvas.

That gave Mitrione the opportunity to unload with a succession of punches and the bout was swiftly concluded.

It leaves De Fries’s future in the UFC very much in the balance after a third defeat in his last four outings for the promotion.

That is a fate which has already befallen Washington’s Colin “Freakshow” Fletcher after he was dumped by UFC after just one fight.

The colourful Fletcher was on the wrong end of a unanimous decision against Canadian Mike Ricci last month on his UFC debut in Montreal last month and it has proved costly for the 30-year-old.