• UFC Sweden

Pearson: I offered to step into a five-round main event

ESPN staff
April 5, 2013

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Ross Pearson has revealed he made it known to the UFC he was ready to step into a five-round fight during the chaos that enveloped UFC Sweden earlier this week.

Pearson's three-round co-main event with Ryan Couture threatened to become a headline bout when Alexander Gustafsson was ruled out by a severe cut above one of his eyes.

Speculation emerged that Gustafsson's light-heavyweight bout with Gegard Mousasi would be pulled entirely due to the late notice withdrawal, but the UFC eventually rescued the situation by drafting in Iler Latifi.

However, Pearson insists he is in such great shape for his encounter with Couture that he could easily have gone two extra rounds. The Brit is bidding to confirm himself as a top-ten lightweight contender.

"I spoke to my coach and told him that if the UFC wants, I'd be available to go five rounds," Pearson told FOXSports. "I'm fit. I'm in shape. I was ready if that's what they decided to do."

For Pearson, Saturday's fight in Stockholm represents another chance to prove he is in the best form of his career. His last outing against George Sotiropoulos produced a clinical stoppage, and he plans to do the same to Couture.

"This is my 10th UFC fight," Pearson said. "I've won some fights. I've lost some fights. I always tried to put on a good show, but it's time that I go on a consistent run. I need to start pushing toward the top of the division.

"I definitely feel I'll be the best opponent he's been faced. If he's anything like his dad, he's going to come in prepared to fight. I'm not going to underestimate Ryan.

"I'm pretty sure some of his dad's wisdom has worn off on him and he'll be ready with a good game plan. I just have to solve it."

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