UFC lightweight Ross Pearson will welcome Ryan Coutureto the company’s infamous eight-sided cage the weekend when the Strikeforce veteran follows in his Hall of Fame father’s footsteps at competes in the Octagon. However, Pearson won’t be all smiles or trying to show Couture the ropes – he’ll be out to show him what it’s like to compete in the world’s foremost MMA organization.
Though the 6-1 Couture has won his last four fights, including success against some respectable adversaries, Pearson doesn’t believe Couture is truly prepared to deal with what he’s in store for as part of the UFC roster.
“I definitely think it’s going to be the best Ryan Couture we’ve seen, but no, I don’t think he’s on my level,” admitted Pearson in a recent conversation with The MMA Hour. “I don’t think he’s fought the level of competition I’ve fought. I don’t think he’s been fighting UFC-caliber guys forever, really, so no, I don’t think he’s on my level. If things go to plan he won’t last very long in there with me.”
Though the 14-6 Brit is certainly confident in his ability to out-class Couture, Pearson understands any adversary poses some level of danger and is preparing as such rather than taking things easy in the gym.
“I’m not taking him lightly. I’m not overlooking anything. I’m preparing for a tough fight. I know Ryan’s durable. I know Ryan can take a shot, and I know Ryan’s game. So he brings some threats to the table,” said Pearson. “I just got to be on my A-game, sharp, strong. I’ve got to own this fight and I’ve got to perform well, show him what the UFC is all about.”
Pearson is 13-5 with a knockout of George Sotiropoulos in his return to 155 pounds after a short stint at featherweight. The Ultimate Fighter 9 winner also owns past victories over Aaron Riley, Spencer Fisher, and Dennis Siver. Comparably, Couture has emerged triumphant against opponents like Conor Heun, Joe Duarte, and most recently K.J. Noons.
PHOTO CREDIT – MMAWEEKLY/5 OZ