What makes a good fight? High stakes? Knockdowns? Trash talk? Hard punches? All of the above? Unfortunately for the fans, no fight his guaranteed action, some might be boring, others might not last long, and other might be a battle for the full allotted time.
This coming Saturday will host UFC Fight Night 47 and a huge, six fight main card that will air on Fox Sports 1. The main event will see Ryan Bader and Ovince St. Preux go to battle in a matchup of two surging light heavyweights who are a few wins away from being at the top of the division. Despite being the main event and having the biggest names on the card, this fight does not have the highest stakes on the card. In fact, the co-main event, which features a recently made matchup between Ross Pearson and Gray Maynard, is definitely the fight with the highest stakes. These stakes lay completely in the fact that both men need a win. Pearson needs a win over the former title challenger in Maynard to continue riding the upswinging momentum his career has recently taken. Maynard, on the other hand, has to win to do the exact opposite; break the dive his past 4 fights have handed his career.
Sure, Bader and St. Preux are fighting to prove their worth in their division, but Maynard is fighting for his literal career, his livelihood and his job. Pearson, in a different way, is doing the very same. Maynard debuted in the UFC in 2007, winning 8 straight fights, including a win over former lightweight champ, Frankie Edgar. It took Maynard nearly 3 years, but after beating his first 8 UFC opponents, Maynard was rewarded a title shot. He fought to draw in his first fight with Edgar, but in the rematch of the title fight, he was knocked out in the 4th round after blasting Edgar to bits in the early stages of the fight.
After losing the title fight to Edgar, Maynard’s career has taken a straight dive bomb. Despite a very odd and controversial win over Clay Guida, Maynard then suffered 2 first round knockouts to TJ Grant and Nate Diaz respectively. He comes into this fight with Pearson having lost 3 of his last 4 and barely squeaking by his only win. Even with the win, Maynard has posted another victory in 2 years, and the fact that he accepted this fight on 10 days notice is always risky. High stakes, high rewards.
Pearson is in the exact opposite situation as Maynard. Pearson has been enjoying a resurgence in his career, not having truly lost a fight in his past 4 outings. This is the first time since 2009 Pearson has been able to put more than one win together in a row. Knocking out Ryan Couture and George Sotiropoulos, Pearson then came to a no contest with Guillard after an illegal knee stopped the fight. He then fought Diego Sanchez, which, after a seemingly one sided beat down by Pearson, the judges gave the win to Sanchez.
The decision the judges made was so outlandish that even the UFC president decided to award Pearson his win money, and announced the Pearson’s next fight would go on as if he beat Sanchez. In short, Pearson is riding a weird, but upward, momentum swing. The beauty of MMA is that Pearson doesn’t have to worry about any of his past fights. His only concern right now is to beat Maynard, and continue climbing the ranks in the UFC’s lightweight division.
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