Toronto has a hometown hero to root for on the preliminary card of UFC 152. Welterweight Sean Pierson looks to make it a 2nd win in a row as he faces late-replacement Lance Benoist (6-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC). As is the theme with most preliminary cards, neither man is ranked in the SB Nation MMA Consensus Rankings and it's highly unlikely that will be the case for the winner of this one.
Originally, Pierson was scheduled to fight Dan Miller, but Miller pulled out to take care of his son and his (successful) kidney transplant. Benoist stepped in on short notice and we've got ourselves a "Young vs. Old" matchup. The FX prelims kick off at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT before the live PPV at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT.
How do these two stack up?
Pierson: 36 years old | 6'0" | 76" reach
Benoist: 24 years old | 5'11" | 72" reach
What have these two done recently?
Pierson: W - Jake Hecht (UD) | L - Dong Hyun Kim (UD) | L - Jake Ellenberger (KO)
Benoist: L - Seth Baczysnki (SD) | W - Matt Riddle (UD) | W - Ryne Vincent (SUB)
How did these two get here?
Pierson is a former police officer who turned to fighting full-time when they wouldn't allow him to use the UFC as a secondary source of income. He debuted in 2002, stopping Steve Vigneault twice, but hit a slide (including losing in a rubber match to Vigneault) that saw his 2-0 start go to just 5-4 by 2007. He won his next 5 and fought Matt Riddle on short notice at UFC 124, and won a decision that entertains Dana White to this day. Pierson dipped into the short-notice well one too many times, though, and Jake Ellenberger wiped him out at UFC 129. Another loss, this time to Dong Hyun Kim, put him close to the proverbial chopping block, but he sent Jake Hecht out of the UFC instead this past June. The 37-year-old will almost certainly never contend, but he's done well in his short time and looks for his first winning streak in the UFC.
Benoist is a ground specialist out of Missouri who accumulated an undefeated amateur record of 14-0-1 before turning pro in 2010. The unbeaten run continued into the pros, and he got the UFC call up in 2011, where he defeated Matt Riddle in a FOTN performance. His 2nd go-round was not as successful, as Seth Baczynski edged him out at UFC on FX 3 by split decision, handing him his first loss. He's put on a good show both times he's been in the Octagon, and this one with Pierson should be no different.
Why should you care?
This isn't really a relevant fight, I'm afraid. That said, it's fun matchmaking on short notice for two entertaining fighters and Pierson will have a partisan crowd behind him.
More coverage of UFC 152 from Bloody Elbow after the jump.
SBN coverage of UFC 152: Jones vs. Belfort