There’s so much that’s intriguing about this next match-up, which pits TUF winner Ross Pearson against former reigning Bellator champ Will Brooks. Obviously, there’s the fact that Brooks gave up the Bellator belt to fight in the UFC. Plus, there’s the notion that we’ll get to see how one of the true Bellator elite does in the Octagon. And then there’s the idea that Pearson may be on the decline. All that makes this bout especially interesting.
Brooks may have made his bones in Bellator as a wrestler, but he shows no hesitation when it comes to standing in front of the striker and dishing out the pain. Throwing kicks, jabs and crosses – and when he clinches, throwing knees and elbows – Brooks gives the Brit pause for doing the unexpected. But Pearson does find his range and rhythm, and when he defends every takedown attempt, you get the feeling that Brooks is starting to realize this may be harder than he thought.
The takedown comes a minute and a half into Round 2, however, and Brooks does his best to inflict damage from above. When Pearson scrambles to all fours, the superior wrestler does his thing for a bit, pecking away with punches while maintaining control. When they do get to their feet, the Bellator champ nails his foe with a sweet body blow, a knee and some punches.
Pearson is a man possessed in the third, with him coming out and blasting Brooks with hooks to the body, kicks to the body, and punches to the face. Brooks is clearly exhausted – he did take this fight on short notice, after all – and for some perilous seconds, he just shells up against the fence and lets the Brit punch him. But when Brooks does get enough energy, he fires back with knees to Pearson’s body and some punches of his own, and at one point he sweeps Pearson, throwing him to the canvas. The horn sounds and they’re banging away, and the judges definitely don’t have an easy job tonight.
Result: Will Brooks def. Ross Pearson via Unanimous Decision