Round 1: They start trading punches from the bell, both guys landing, but Pearson scoring the first staggering blow. Pearson is doing a good job pressing the pace, keeping Barboza moving backwards, not letting him get off many good combinations, while Pearson does. Pearson lands the superman punch and then follows with a stinging jab. Pearson misses with the jumping knee, but lands a left-right combination. He eats a Barboza spinning back kick, however. Pearson rocks Barboza’s chin, with a stiff left hand; follows shortly thereafter with a right superman punch. Pearson doing a good job mixing up looks and attacks to keep Barboza out of his game. Pearson lands a punch followed by a high left kick, but can’t score the takedown when he follows with a shot just before the bell. MMAWeekly.com scores round one 10-9 for Pearson.
Round 2: Pearson kicks to the midsection, but Barboza catches it and fires back with his own kick to the midsection in combination with a punch that puts Pearson on the mat. The Brit is back to his feet quickly. Barboza kicks high, but Pearson comes back with a chopping low kick and follows with a couple punches that snap Barboza’s head back. Pearson getting back in a rhythm, again landing leg kicks followed by a combination of punches. He telegraphs a takedown, however, and Barboza easily sprawls out. Barboza is landing more strikes this round, but Pearson is still outnumbering him about three to one, staying much busier. Another spinning back kick from Barboza and he follows with a switch kick to the midsection. Pearson fires back with the superman punch. Barboza fires off several kicks that are blocked, but still have some sting in them. MMAWeekly.com scores round two 10-9 for Pearson.
Round 3: Pearson opens with two lead left hooks that find their mark. Barboza goes to the spinning back kick again, but it doesn’t land cleanly. Barboza goes for a flying knee, but Pearson catches it, avoiding any damage. Barboza lands a kick to the left side, but Pearson drives him to the cage with punches. He drops for the takedown, but Barboza again defends. Barboza has his jab going a little more now. Pearson is still pressing, but not landing as cleanly now. Barboza sprawls out another Pearson takedown attempt then fires off another back kick that grazes Pearson’s shoulder. Pearson starting to land more of his punch combinations, Barboza missing with his kicks starts amping up his punch combinations as well. Pearson steps up the pace again, flying in with the superman punch, but then eating a spinning back kick. He fires back with a flying knee to the chest just before the bell. MMAWeekly.com scores round three 10-9 for Barboza, but the fight 29-28 for Pearson.
Edson Barboza, Jr. def. Ross Pearson by Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28), R3