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UFC lightweight veteran Ross Pearson announces his retirement from MMA

“The Ultimate Fighter” season nine winner is calling it a career after 15 years as a professional MMA fighter.

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Calgary-Makdessi vs Pearson Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

We have seen the last of “The Real Deal” in MMA.

Longtime UFC lightweight Ross Pearson, who suffered a TKO loss to Desmond Green just over a week ago, revealed to fans that he’s retiring from the sport after fifteen years as a professional.

The 34-year-old has been with the UFC since winning season nine of The Ultimate Fighter in 2009, but after suffering his sixth loss in his last seven bouts, he’s hanging up the gloves. However, in his official statement posted on Instagram, he did hint he could compete in other combat sports down the line.

“After some long hard talks, and careful consideration with my family, friends and team, I’ve decided it’s time to retire as an MMA fighter,” Pearson wrote. “As hard as that is to say, it’s not the end of my career as a competitor. I’ve always been a fighter, and right now I am keeping my mind open as to what’s next for me. I’d like take this time to thank everyone at the @UFC for having me for the past 10 years @danawhite for seeing something in me and believing in me for all these years ago.

“To my family, my teammates, and my friends, your support has been endless and I appreciate all of you - with a special shout out to all the north east training partners & coaches who where there for me in the beginning @grapplefit to @alliancemma for taking me in as part of the family, my wife @kristiejpearson for following my dream with me and all the guys at @centralcoastmma @coach_jamie_pittman_ @centralcoastbarbell”

And to all my fans , thanks for all the love & support !

Ross “The Real Deal” Pearson

Pearson (20-16, 1 NC) was on Team UK for the “USA vs. United Kingdom” version of TUF. He made it to the final and won a decision over fellow Brit Andre Winner. Pearson notably scored wins over Dennis Siver, Gray Maynard, Sam Stout, and Paul Felder. Known for his numerous entertaining performances whether in victory or defeat, Ross also earned three Fight of the Night bonuses and a Performance of the Night honor (vs. Stout) along the way. Even in his losses, he faced several top contenders in multiple weight classes, including Jorge Masvidal at welterweight, Edson Barboza and Al Iaquinta at lightweight, and Cub Swanson at featherweight.

His final win inside the Octagon saw him prevail by decision vs. Mizuto Hirota in February of 2018. He retires with a UFC record of 12-13 (with 1 NC vs. Melvin Guillard), making him one of the longest tenured fighters in the company’s history.