There will be a debate for days followed by a slew of slow
motion replays as the world tries to decipher if Melvin Guillard’s
knee strikes landed on Ross Pearson were legal or illegal after the
bout was stopped and declared a no contest.
The altercation happened in a hurry as Guillard tossed Pearson
to the mat and uncorked two huge knee strikes in a row as the
British fighter feigned and attempted to get up from the ground
during the melee. Because Pearson’s hand appeared to be down during
one of the knee strikes, referee Marc Goddard stepped in and
stopped the fight to warn Guillard about the infraction.
Unfortunately one of the knees caused a giant gash to open up on
Pearson’s forehead, which the doctor deemed too deep to allow the
fight to continue and the action was stopped before it ever really
“Mega-disappointed. The fight was just getting warmed up,”
Pearson said about the fight after it ended. “It was looking like
it was going to be an amazing fight. I felt great in there,
everything was going to plan. We were scrapping it out, got caught
in a transition and unfortunately accidents happen. I never felt
hurt, I never got rocked.”
The worst part about the stoppage for both fighters is that the
cut is something that neither man could control. The doctors make
the final call in a situation like that, and it leaves both
Guillard and Pearson at the mercy of the ruling unable to finish
the bout the way they wish it could end.
While stoppages due to cuts are always controversial, there is
no doubt that the laceration on Pearson’s forehead was pretty
severe given his diagnosis at the post fight press conference.
“I asked the referee to keep going and the doctor said no it was
too deep. About 32 stitches in my forehead,” Pearson reavealed.
“I’m pretty disappointed.”
If there is a bright side to the entire situation it’s the fact
that Guillard and Pearson will get the chance to do it all over
again and settle the score once and for all.
The UFC announced following the event that they will rematch the
two lightweight sluggers in a fight at the upcoming event on March
8, 2014 in London, England headlined by Alexander Gustafsson
against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.