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Title-chasing Pearson claims Aldo fight would be 'sick'

ESPN staff
December 21, 2011 « Pakistan seal series sweep | Chartbeat test »

The UFC is braced for a brand new version of Ross Pearson on December 30, a version that is ten pounds lighter and obsessed with earning a title shot.

Since winning The Ultimate Fighter in 2009, Pearson has always spoken of the need for patience, the necessity to improve. Realism has always come before fantasy, a title shot the end goal of a long road to glory.

All that has changed.

Speaking to ESPN, Pearson insists his time with Team Alliance has transformed his game ahead of his featherweight debut at UFC 141. A fight with Junior Assuncao is no "test fight" for Pearson, who is adamant he wants to win big to demand a title shot from the UFC.

"I'm looking to make a statement to say, 'I'm here in this division and I'm coming for a title shot'. I'm putting a lot of pressure on myself to put on a big performance," Pearson told ESPN.

"I'd fight any of the guys in the division now and I feel I could beat any of them. Training at Alliance, I'm feeling unstoppable. I'm training with the best of the best and I'm doing awesome with them all. It shows how fast I'm getting better."

At the still-young age of 27, Pearson could be forgiven for wanting three or four fights to adapt to the 145lb terrain. But he has previously spoken about wanting to fight Kenny Florian, and he insists a title battle with Jose Aldo would be a Fight of the Year contender.

"I'm at my physical peak and this fight will be a huge statement that I'm ready when the UFC make the call for me to fight for the title," said the Brit. "2012 is going to be my year. I want the shot in the next year.

"Stylistically Jose Aldo and me would make a sick fight. The fans in Brazil would love to see me fight Jose. I've got a lot of respect for Jose - he's champion for a reason. But stylistically it'd make for an awesome fight."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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