British striker Ross "The Real Deal" Pearson's doesn't anticipate his second fight at featherweight will be any easier than his first against opponent Junior Assunção; and that's just how Pearson wants it to be.
Dropping to 145 lbs. in an earnest attempt to obtain UFC gold, Pearson looks to start off a bit faster against his upcoming opponent, WEC veteran Cub Swanson, than in his featherweight debut.
"It doesn't matter who you are – 22 pounds is a lot to cut, and it's never fun. In the [Assunção] fight I felt fine. The only thing I felt was that I started slower than what I normally do."
Having hopped the pond to make San Diego, California his permanent base with Alliance MMA, the Brit is glad he made the difficult choice to leave behind family and friends to train with the likes of current UFC Banatamweight Champion, Dominick Cruz.
"I think I've been out here training with some of the best guys in the world with Team Alliance MMA, and I've just come on in leaps and bounds. I've always said from the very beginning that I want to show people that I'm a mixed martial artist — I'm not just a striker, I'm not just a boxer, I'm not just a Thai boxer — and that's what I'm starting to develop now.
"I'm ready to take my career to the next level, and if the UFC decides to push me for a title shot, I'm ready…. I'm not a newcomer to this sport; I've been around for a long time, and I'm ready for that step up. I see myself at the top of the division already, and I have no doubt in that. I think I'm only a fight or two away from being asked for a title shot. I believe I would put on a great fight with [Featherweight Champion] Jose Aldo, and I'm sure the fans would really love to see that fight."
Before any of that can happen, "The Real Deal" will have to get past Swanson, whose skills, Pearson admires and respects.
"I've watched Cub fight for a while now… and I like his style. I'm excited to test my skills against Cub. He likes to box, and I come from a boxing background. He likes to throw nice, neat shots; he's good on his feet, and he moves well, so yeah, I'm looking forward to testing my boxing out against his.
"He also has some jiu-jitsu skills: he reaches on a good guillotine, and he attacks things quickly. His jiu-jitsu is pretty smooth, and that's one area that I've been working on, just in case the fight does go to the floor. But I'm anticipating a standup fight. I go into pretty much all my fights looking for a standup fight."
Pearson is hoping his hard work and dedication in the sport pay off on June 22. However, if things don't go the way he plans, the British mixed martial artist believes he'll send the fans home happy, regardless.
"I come to entertain. I come to put on a fight for the fans. I feel it's my job – the fans pay good money to come and see a good fight, and I enjoy a good fight, you know? It's weird to say, but I enjoy getting punched in the face, kicked in the leg, and seeing how much I can take, and give back… Fans, just be ready for a great fight because I'm ready to deliver a great fight."
Ross Pearson and Cub Swanson square off on the first fight of the main card for UFC On FX 4 on June 22.
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