STOCKHOLM – Ryan Couture’s game plan worked effectively for one round, but once Ross Pearson got some distance and found himself in a dominant position, he proved why he was the heavy favorite.
Pearson ultimately stopped Couture, the son of UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture, with a second-round swarm of blows to pick up a TKO victory.
The lightweight bout co-headlined today’s UFC on FUEL TV 9 event at Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm. It aired on FUEL TV following prelims on Facebook.
Couture, a Strikeforce import who got a UFC fight despite his father’s feud with UFC President Dana White, became the first second-generation UFC fighter. And at least initially, he looked game for the challenge.
In the first round, Couture used a, well, Couture-like game plan. After clinching and pressing Pearson against the cage, he delivered knees and punches from close quarters, briefly secured a takedown, and then pawed a jab to keep distance once his opponent was back up. Couture closed the distance again, but on the break, Pearson got through a nice hook.
Sticking with what was working, Couture again immediately closed the distance in the second round. Pearson looked to create space, but Couture smothered him against the cage and worked short punches and elbows, including a few solid combos. Pearson, though, finally separated and landed some lunging and stinging punches. Then, after catching a kick and dumping Couture, Pearson battered him with kicks and punches on the way up.
Couture, whose footwork kept him out of danger early, tried to circle out of it, but Pearson continued to land cleanly and sent him staggering to the mat. A few follow-up punches then sealed the deal and forced the TKO stoppage.
The ending came at the 3:45 mark of the round.
“It was just patience, timing and just not overcommitting too much,” Pearson said. “I just let the fight mature. I’m think getting a little older and a little wiser. I’ve had a lot of fights now, and I think it’s just practice making perfect.”
Pearson (15-6 MMA, 7-3 UFC) has now won three of four fights and is 2-0 since his return to lightweight. Couture (6-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC), meanwhile, snaps a four-fight win streak that included recent split-decision wins over Joe Duarte and K.J. Noons.
Up-to-the-minute UFC on FUEL TV 9 results include:
- Ross Pearson def. Ryan Couture via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 3:45
- Matt Mitrione def. Philip De Fries via KO (punches) – Round 1, 0:19
- Brad Pickett def. Mike Easton via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 30-27)
- Diego Brandao def. Pablo Garza via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 1, 3:27
- Akira Corassani def. Robbie Peralta via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Reza Madadi def. Michael Johnson via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 3, 1:33
- Tor Troeng def. Adam Cella via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 3:11
- Adlan Amagov def. Chris Spang via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Conor McGregor def. Marcus Brimage via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 1:07
- Ryan LaFlare def. Ben Alloway via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Tom Lawlor def. Michael Kuiper via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 2, 1:05
- Papy Abedi def. Besam Yousef via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
For complete coverage of UFC on FUEL TV 9, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site.
(Pictured: Ross Pearson)
John Morgan contributed to this report on-site in Stockholm.