Image via Esther Lin of MMA Fighting
Canadian welterweight Sean Pierson used the support of a hometown crowd to pick up a unanimous decision victory over Lance Benoist in their UFC 152 welterweight bout, but he had to survive a major scare to do it. After controlling the first two rounds, Pierson was knocked down and nearly finished by Benoist in the third, but managed to hold on until the final horn. It was somewhat reminiscent of the Sergio Martinez vs. Julio Cesar Chavez fight from last weekend.
Benoist looked to knock Pierson's head off early, but settled for a bit of a clinch battle. Nice body and leg kicks from Benoist. Pierson landed a solid shot when Benoist was off balance and knocked him down. After some more clinching, Pierson landed a nice counter, and caught a leg kick to take Benoist to the floor. Benoist looked for a triangle without success. Lance locked up an omoplata, but Pierson escaped and they returned to their feet. A left hook staggered Benoist again. Both fighters landed some solid strikes over the final minute.
Benoist missed with a kick early in round two and Pierson made him pay with a solid combination to the body. Benoist looked for a takedown but was flipped over by Pierson, who worked a front headlock. Once again, Pierson landed a right hook counter that wobbled Benoist. The kicks were coming in frequently by Lance, but they were being countered effectively by the Canadian fighter. Benoist came back with a four-punch combination. Pierson shot in late but got stuffed.
Pierson caught a kick early in the final round and kicked the opposite leg. The third was a little slower in pace, as both guys were measuring their strikes a little more. Benoist landed a nice standing elbow. Lance went back to the kicks, but Pierson's jab bloodied Benoist a bit. Benoist dropped Pierson with a huge left out of nowhere and pounced for the kill with a minute to go, but Pierson somehow survived. Benoist tried to take the back and sink a choke, but Pierson got back up and finished the round on wobbly legs. Great ending to the fight.