Stepping as a late replacement is never an easy task but when the fight you are stepping into just happens to fall under the most successful organization in the sports banner then you better make sure you show up at the top of your game. For UFC newcomer Sean Pierson that is exactly what he did as he used three rounds to batter TUF alum Matt Riddle. Pierson nearly ended the bout in the first round but Riddle was able to survive a tough spot and continue. The fighter they called "Chipper" on the reality program looked to be anything but as Pierson kicked off his UFC career with a unanimous decision victory
The fight began with an aggressive tempo as both fighter exchanged punches. Pierson landed the bigger shots as Riddle seemed dazed as he backed up to the cage. Feeling the momentum Pierson stayed in the pocket and landed several more shots as Riddle appeared to be in big trouble. In desperation Riddle launched a flying knee that never found a home and unfortunately for him Pierson was waiting with a counter right hand that smashed Riddle and dropped him to the canvas. Pierson swarmed as he looked to finish the fight but Riddle held on for dear life until he finds the window to get back to his feet. There was no relief in sight for Riddle as Pierson quickly dumped him back to the canvas and poured on a series of knees to the body from side control. With time ticking away Pierson took Riddle's back but he wasn't able to hold the position as Riddle escaped and survived the first round.
To begin the second round Riddle came out looking to return the favor but was once again greeted with Pierson's hands. Riddle made no secret that he was desperately trying to get the fight to the ground but each attempt was stuffed by Pierson. Coming off the sprawl Pierson exceled as he continued to win the stand up battle. The only highlight of the round came after a solid combination was landed by Riddle and he applied a guillotine choke. Ultimately Pierson escaped but the remainder of the round saw a better Riddle as he not only stuffed Pierson's final takedown attempt but took top position just as the round came to a close.
Pierson continued his dominance in the final round as he capitalized off of Riddle's wild punches with crisp deliveries. Riddle looked to land anything he could he find but Pierson continued to move and score at will. The fight came to a close with both men exchanging but the fight had already been determined. Stepping in at the last minute for T.J. Waldburger proved to be a smart move as Sean Pierson makes a successful UFC debut by taking the unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27). The loss breaks a consecutive fight win streak for Riddle and while he will undoubtedly be upset with the loss the crowd in Montreal showed their appreciation for a great fight.