Mike Pierce continued his journey into welterweight no man's land this weekend with a second round pasting of David Mitchell in what was ultimately a lose-lose fight for the highly regarded wrestle-boxer. Opening the Facebook card, Pierce battled an unknown opponent in near anonymity. Lose and his profile sinks that much further, win, and everyone shrugs and asks who you've beaten lately.
The first round saw little to thrill fans as the two fighters spent most of their time grinding each other against the fence. Surprisingly, Mitchell actually appeared to be getting the better of the clinch game when the two hooked up. His high output, low power, performance was reminiscent of Mitch Clarke beating John Maguire just last month.
What was the high point?
The knockout, without question. This fight was headed for a low action grind fest. Pierce was getting pecked at with small strikes, and while he clearly appeared capable of hurting Mitchell, he didn't appear able to find much of a rhythm. When the end came it was sudden and violent and made up for an otherwise unenthralling performance.
What was the low point?
That first round and for that matter what this did, or didn't do, for Pierce. He looked uncomfortable against an opponent he should have handled easily and while he ultimately got the decisive finish it's not going to make him a sudden hot commodity. It's exactly the kind of fight he didn't need and it doesn't feel any less so for being over.
Where do they go from here?
For Pierce, hopefully a more interesting fight. I realize he's something of a divisional poison, and that the UFC wants to keep him away from real prospects knowing that he'll remove a lot of their shine. But there's no reason he couldn't be fighting former title challengers or old warhorses on Fox Sports cards. A fight against Dong Hyun Kim may not be a thrill a minute, but it would show witch of them really deserves a home among the top ten.
For David Mitchell, I realize that he won his previous fight, against Simeon Thoreson but I think this is the end of his UFC run. If he does somehow get another UFC fight, a matchup against William Macario or Yuri Villefort would be about right.
Watch it now, later, or never?
Watch it later. The finish makes it worth seeing at some point and it's a nice highlight in Pierce's oeuvre, but unless you're a huge mark for the Oregonian I'd save it for a rainy day.