Well, that didn’t take long. Less than an hour after their lightweight shootout ended in controversy, UFC executive Garry Cook announced Ross Pearson (pictured) and Melvin Guillard will rematch on March 8 inside O2 Arean in London, England.
Guillard was bringing the heat in the opening minutes on Saturday night at UFC Fight Night 30. After unleashing two questionable knees to Pearson’s head, referee Mark Goddard brought the attack to a halt.
Goddard claimed the knees were illegal because Pearson was a “grounded opponent” at the time due to his hand being on the canvas. On super slow-mo replay, the first knee was legal.
However, Goddard’s got the eyes of an eagle because Pearson’s hand was in fact on the mat during the second blow. That strike caused a huge gash on Pearson’s forehead, which ultimately caused the fight to be ruled a no contest.
Don’t point the finger at Goddard, he made the correct call. Blame the stupid rule. The UFC has been discussing getting rid of the tripod rule for quite some time, believing fighters are “playing the game” by putting their hand on the mat to avoid damage just as a knee or kick is about to come.
While that’s not necessarily what Pearson was doing in this case, perhaps the outcome of this bout will finally force implementation.
“I’m sorry, this is not the way I wanted to go out,” Pearson stated. “Me and Melvin wanted to put on a show for you guys.
“I was illegally attacked, but things happen in this sport. Me and Melvin, let’s do it again.”