Coming off two wins in the past two years, featherweight Jonathan Pearce was looking to kick off his 2022 with another win when he faced Christian Rodriguez at UFC Fight Night on February 19.
While he admittedly did not have the kind of fight he would have liked against Rodriguez, Pearce was able to pick up a unanimous decision win on February 19 and build a three-fight winning streak for himself in the process.
“I think it wasn’t my best performance, but I think it was a good performance,” Pearce told MMAWeekly.com. “You can’t be upset with a win.
“I had some hydration issues after I weighed in. I didn’t drink enough water after I weighed in, causing me to throw up what I ate to go fight on, my fuel, so I didn’t really digest anything, so I was fighting on fumes. I didn’t feel like I had a lot of push in my punches or my strength. So a lot of technique; I knew I could out-wrestle him and make him scramble.”
Having had five months off since his win in September of last year, Pearce feels like he has made good progress in his game, thanks to the team he has around him in Fight Ready MMA.
“I think the layoff was good,” said Pearce. “It allowed me to improve. I think I’m a new version of myself.
“A lot of guys are coming over to Fight Ready to train with us and becoming new fighters and beating people they never beat before and winning world titles. I think we’ve got it going on over there.”
With three wins in a row in the UFC, Pearce has shown he’s making the right steps forward and has been able to showcase those developments when it matters most.
“I think you do see improvements in the gym slowly,” Pearce said. “You can lift more weight, run a little bit faster, go more rounds, but in a fight situation that’s when it really matters.
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“When it’s all on the line, and when the lights are on, and lot of people can’t do it when the lights are on, and I think I’m doing really good. I think I’m young, just four fights in (my UFC career), and am learning as I go, but I’m not having to lose to learn.”
While he has the same overall goal as other fighters in the UFC, Pearce knows to get to where he wants to be he’s got to take it one step at a time, starting with a hopeful return this summer.
“Right now I’m doing real good,” said Pearce. “I’ve got a three-fight winning streak, and I’m going for number four right now.
“We all want to be a champion. We all want to be the best. That’s why we’re in the UFC. But right now to get there, we’ve got to focus on number for, so I’m looking to June, when they’re looking for my next fight, and getting my fourth win in the UFC.”