Up Next: Ross Pearson vs. Andre Winner
Whoever loses, Michael Bisping wins: both Pearson and Winner are Brits, which means UK team coach Bisping can get bragging rights regardless of the outcome. (Fortunately, he’s modest about these sorts of things.) Some unfortunate handicapping comes courtesy of Winner himself, who told the Sun in May that “I was confident of Ross beating all of the lightweights in the house.” So there you go.
For the lightweight "TUF" title: taking that into consideration, shouldn't these final fights be five rounds? Maybe split the difference and call it four? Both guys look tightly wound. They're also wearing virtually identical fight shorts, which should infuriate In Touch Weekly. Winner seems content to push Pearson into the cage and hope he spontaneously combusts or something. Alternative strategy: knee Pearson in the groin. Stilted round: Winner finishes with a theatrical flurry.
Bisping is spotted on camera, which prompts the crowd to boo. So Bisping applauds himself, which is very much in character. Pearson and Winner are content to fight as though they're in a phone booth, sticking to each other in the clinch and trading knee strikes.
Twelve minutes in, both fighters realize it's incredibly difficult to end a fight from the clinch and decide to open the distance. For about 30 seconds. The crowd is on their best funeral behavior. Winner is likely to take this for being the more aggressive hugger. "How good is this?" Goldberg asks. Of course he did. Who was the idiot who suggested this should have gone four rounds?
29-28 for Ross Pearson. Turns out Winner was right. UFC President Dana White hands Pearson a gigantic piece of glass that threatens to topple over the ring girl. The "six-figure contract" gets a mention.