It was a close fight, and although most pundits and many fans agreed that Ross Pearson should have walked away with a decision victory at UFC Fight Night 42 on Saturday night, it was Diego Sanchez, fighting on his home turf, that got the nod.
The judges saw it 30-27, 27-30, and 29-28; a split decision in Sanchez’s favor.
The scoring left a sour taste in Pearson’s mouth, but ignited a fire in Sanchez, leading him to a bold callout for his next fight.
“I was confident that I won the fight,” he said in his post-fight interview. “I put pressure on him. I felt like I was the one who made the fight what it was.
“With that victory, I want to put a challenge out to Nate Diaz. Diaz vs. Diego, let’s do this in Mexico. Stop being a crybaby, crying about not getting enough money. Be a real fighter and fight because you love to fight, and fight me. See if you can hang with this.”
With either of the Diaz brothers, it’s always difficult to decipher what fight will or won’t motivate them, but facing Diego Sanchez at the UFC’s first event Mexico is a rather large carrot dangling in front of Nate Diaz’s face.
Pearson, of course, doesn’t believe it should even be in the offing, as he felt cheated out of a good chunk of his paycheck on Saturday night.
“He put on a tough fight, but I think I won every round,” Pearson said of the bout with Sanchez. “It just sucks. I’m hurting right now. I believe I’ve lost half a paycheck. The judges here, they don’t lose half a paycheck. I feel that I’ve been robbed.”
Sanchez, fighting in front of a hometown crowd that mostly agreed with the decision, was just as sure that he had won the fight.
“I definitely thought I won the first and third round,” said Sanchez.
“I wanted to knock him out and I wanted to give Albuquerque a knockout. (But) I was confident that I won the fight. I knew that I had done enough.”