Ross Pearson’s recent arrest for driving under the influence won’t cost him his upcoming fight at UFC on Fox 4 against Cub Swanson.
This is according to UFC president Dana White, who spoke about the matter on Thursday following the UFC on Fox 3 pre-fight press conference.
Pearson was arrested last Sunday in Las Vegas by police after failing a field sobriety test. He was taken into custody and booked on the charge of DUI and later released.
White stated that he talked to Pearson right after the incident happened, and they are committed to getting him the help he needs, but he’ll face no penalty from the promotion.
“I talked to him on the phone the day that he got out. We’re gonna help him through it,” said White. “That (expletive) happens every day. There’s so much (expletitve) happens that you don’t know about. It’s part of the business.
“We’re all human beings. Don’t jump in your (expletive) car and drive when you’ve been drinking. You have a couple drinks and you’re like, ‘no, I’m fine.’ You get pulled over and you blow in that breathalyzer and it goes over a 0.8, you’re in trouble man. DUI is as bad of a crime as you can commit, especially in Nevada.”
Even though White points out the seriousness of the crime, Pearson won’t face a penalty from the promotion regarding his actions. Pearson was in Las Vegas as part of his teammate Dominick Cruz’s coaching staff for The Ultimate Fighter: Live.
Whether Pearson will appear on the reality show in any form this week is still unknown.
What is known for sure is Pearson will still have the chance to face Swanson at UFC on FX 4 coming up on June 22 from Atlantic City N.J.
“No. He’s not going to lose any fights over it,” said White. “The guy made a mistake. I think everybody standing here, unless you don’t drink, has had a couple drinks and jumped in the car and tried to drive home. Stupid. There’s no need for it. He’s got 50 guys out there that he’s training with that he could have called. He’s got money. Could have took a taxi. It’s just one of those bad choices you make at that moment. And everybody that I’ve ever known that’s got a DUI, unless you’re a stone-cold alcoholic lunatic, nobody gets a second one man.
“He’s a good guy. I like him and I respect him; we’re going to help him get through this.”
There is no set code of conduct policy in the UFC regarding situations like arrests or DUIs as there is in many other professional sports.
In the NFL, players are subject to fines and suspensions under the league’s substance abuse policy, as well as their personal conduct policy where a player’s behavior can be called into question if it is detrimental to the image of the league and its players.
Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Ray Maualuga was arrested on DUI charges two years ago and was placed in stage one of the league’s Alcohol and Substance Abuse program and while he avoided suspension, he was fined two game checks totaling nearly $50,000.
In 2009, wide receiver Donte Stallworth was arrested and charged with DUI manslaughter after striking a pedestrian with his car while intoxicated. The NFL suspended Stallworth for an entire season without pay for his transgression.
The MMA world has also been touched particularly hard by the DUI discussion after the 2009 death of TapouT founder Charles “Mask” Lewis. Lewis’ car was struck by Jeffrey David Kirby. The ensuing accident cost Lewis his life.
Kirby was later found to be intoxicated at the time of the accident, and is currently serving nine years in prison for his part in the death of Lewis.
Pearson has yet to stand before a judge for his final verdict regarding the DUI charges stemming from last weekend’s arrest.