Maynard came into the fight having lost three of his last four bouts, which included failing to take the UFC lightweight champion from Frankie Edgar. Pearson entered the bout having lost an extremely controversial decision to Diego Sanchez his last time out.
Maynard, having shifted his camp to Power MMA with main event Ryan Bader, was aggressive from the opening bell, showing excellent head movement, and good hand speed. Forcing Pearson to miss with most of his power shots, Maynard landed several good combinations, including several body shots that set up a couple solid takedowns in the opening frame.
Round two started with Maynard again taking control, this time putting Pearson up along the fence and trying to wear him down rom the clinch. Pearson eventually landed a knee and separated.
Meeting up in the center of the Octagon, Maynard once again landed some good body shots, but Pearson answered with a short right hook that hurt Maynard. Noticing Maynard was hurt, Pearson pounced and unleashed a series of powerful right hands that put Maynard down and out, the referee waving off the fight.
Now 3-1 with 1 no contest in his last five fights, Pearson believes he’s finally hit his stride and wants to make a serious run at the title.
“Gray is a great competitor. He’s been around for a long time. I just wanted what he’s had in his career. He’s had the title fights, been the No. 1 contender, that’s where I want to go,” said Pearson after the fight.
“Top 10, baby, anyone inside there, anyone who is ready. I’m coming for the top of the world. I’m on a roller coaster now.”
(Follow @KenPishna on Twitter)