Illegal knee ends Guillard-Pearson

Melvin Guillard and Ross Pearson were supposed to be the evening’s fireworks. In a sense they were, but not for the expected reasons.

The bout became the night’s controversy after an illegal Guillard knee led to a no contest ruling after only 1:57 of action in the UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Munoz co-main event.

The end came during a blur of violence. Pearson launched a flying knee attack that Guillard evaded before catching him and turning it into a takedown. As Pearson tried to get up, Guillard fired off a pair of knees. In the blur, the referee Marc Goddard stepped in, believing one or both were illegal.

As it turned out, Pearson suffered a huge cut on his forehead, and Goddard ruled he couldn’t continue. A look at the replay showed the first knee was likely legal, but on the second, it looked as though Pearson’s hand was on the canvas.

As a result, the foul was ruled accidental, making it a no contest.

“I’m disappointed but not beat,” Pearson said. “It was an illegal attack but it happens in this sport.”

Guillard, too, said it was accidental.

“Ross is a great fighter, and a friend,” he said. “we wanted to fight. Unfortunately the second knee hit him while his hand was down. I’ll come back to England and do it again, or do it wherever.”

The Phones4U Arena crowd booed the result, but Pearson could not continue.

As a result, Pearson is now 15-6 with 1 no contest while Guillard is 31-12-2 with 2 no contests.