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· On The Spot ~ Sean Pierson

· Article author: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Posted on 12/09 at 01:38 AM

Sean Pierson, a native of Toronto, Canada, finally has realized his dream: fighting for the UFC. Pierson has long been considered among Canada’s elite fighters, but regulations and injuries had, until now, kept him out of the spotlight. In a karmic turn of events, it is an injury that has allowed Pierson to realize his dream.

Pierson, a Canadian Senior National Greco-Roman and Canadian University Freestyle Wrestling champion, will face Matt Riddle in his UFC debut this week in Montreal at "UFC 124: St-Pierre vs. Koscheck." He steps in against the former TUF contestant after Riddle's original opponent, T.J. Waldburger withdrew from the event due to injury.

A training partner of fellow welterweight UFC Champion Georges St-Pierre, Pierson has put together an impressive 10-4 record, that includes five consecutive first round stoppages. Most recently, returning from a knee injury, he earned a TKO victory over Ricky Goodall this past October.

MMA Spot's Brad LeBeau sits down with Sean to discuss MMA legalization in Ontario, his training partners, UFC jitters and more.

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Brad LeBeau: You were slated to fight Dan Hornbuckle for Bellator on April 22 but sustained a knee injury, do you see it as a blessing in disguise and did Bellator offer you anything after your recovery?
Sean Pierson: This question is tricky to answer, I get to compete in the UFC which has been my dream for over 10 years now, in that sense this is a great blessing. Getting injured was tough on me mentally as I thought this might be it for me and my career as a fighter. On top of that, I was looking forward to competing against Dan Hornbuckle and the rest of the welterweights in the tournament. It was a great opportunity with a huge financial reward for winning. After my injury Bellator had already filled up the next season welterweight tournament so they were kind enough to grant me my release.

LeBeau: How is the knee feeling?
Pierson: My knee is actually great, feels strong and is a non-issue right now and throughout my training.

LeBeau: Your debut in the UFC will be against Matt Riddle, what are your thoughts on him as a fighter?
Pierson: Matt is a very good competitor and I respect him a lot as he has had his entire career in the UFC and building up five wins in the process is no easy task.

LeBeau: You have gone to Tristar in preparation for this fight. What kind of things have you been working on?
Pierson: Like every other camp I work on my entire game. I'm very much a student and trying to improve everything on a daily basis; I am truly a huge fan of all martial arts and how they are combined together to add new elements.

LeBeau: Do you feel you will have the so-called UFC jitters or do you think that training with such high caliber fighters like GSP, Claude Patrick, Mark Bocek and the guys at your gym and Tristar will help you deal with that?
Pierson: I don't think anyone can help you deal with the jitters, it's something we have talked about and just another obstacle I will have to deal with in the UFC and the large scale of attention you get from competing here.

LeBeau: Which other fighters have you been training with and how have they helped you?
Pierson: It's unfair to name fighters as I always forget someone, but my training camps are at Grant Brothers MMA, TaP Star Grappling and Bruckmann's MMA, on top of that I Gord McPhail as my strength and conditioning coach and Kim (Tilden) McPhail as my dietitian. Add on top of that the Tristar crew and Jon Chaimberg and we have a general consensus of everywhere I'm training.

LeBeau: The MMA world has been a buzz with the sudden release of two time "Knockout of the Night" winner Gerald Harris. As a fighter making his debut do you feel this adds extra pressure to not only win but do it in an exciting fashion?
Pierson: I don't think so, I can only control what I do in the Octagon; I can't stress and worry about other people and their perceptions.

LeBeau: How many fights have you signed on for with the UFC?
Pierson: I signed a four fight deal but I fully understand the UFC can cut that short depending on my performance.

LeBeau: Since we last talked MMA has been legalized in Ontario. What are your thoughts on that?
Pierson: This is huge news and I'm ecstatic about it. But, first and foremost I have a fight to win this year in Montreal.

LeBeau: With a strong showing in Montreal there is a good chance of being able to fight in your home town of Toronto when the UFC make its inaugural visit. What would that mean to you?
Pierson: I would love to be a part of this, but my focus is still on my debut and I can't control if I'm chosen to be on this card or not. Fighting in front of my friends and family would be incredible though.

LeBeau: With the WEC recently merging with the UFC, guys you train with—namely W-1 Bantamweight Champion Adrian Wooley—are sure to benefit from it. What are your thoughts on the merger?
Pierson: I think the merger is great for everyone, I really enjoy the lighter weight fights and think with the increasing number of UFC pay-per-views it will only increase the quality of the overall UFC product.

LeBeau: Are there any sponsors, friends or family you would like to thank?
Pierson: I always want to thank my family, friends and fans for all the support and encouragement they have given me. All my trainers and training partners and of course my current sponsors have been great as well, Headrush, WildWing, CanadaLend, Universal Music, Neil Rathee Insurance Agency and Kärv.


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