With UFC 266 edging closer, the anticipation for this brilliant event is sky-high, as fans return to the T-Mobile Arena this Saturday. The event is being talked about all around the world, and we expect fireworks from the opening fight to the last.
In the opener, we have the ruthless Jonathan Pearce taking on Omar Morales. It’s been ten months since we saw Pearce in the octagon, and on that night he looked as good as he’s ever been. He did exactly what he does best, take advantage of his opponent on the feet, get them to ground and hammer them until it’s done. In the second round against Kai Kamaka, he destroyed him with the ground & pound until Dan Miragliotta had seen enough.
Pearce earned his place in the UFC with a stunning performance over Jacob Rosales on Dana White’s Contender Series in 2019. A third-round finish saw him receive his contract, which matched him up with Joe Lauzon for his UFC debut. Three months after his DWCS bout, he was defeated in the first round to Lauzon. Pearce had a longer preperation for the Kamaka fight, where he proved his true potential.
Morales is a tough challenge for any featherweight, with only one defeat to his name. Pearce is walking into one of the toughest tests of his career, but he seems to be more than ready for the challenge he deserves.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Pearce ahead of his fight at UFC 266.
Jonathan Pearce: The Interview
So, Jonathan, fight week. Explain to me your emotions right now with the fight days to come?
Jonathan Pearce – I feel great, weight good, I feel that I belong on these big cards. This weekend is all about making a bigger name for myself.
Do you have a sort of routine or any rituals before every fight?
Jonathan Pearce – I have a pair differently for each fight because every fight is different so I usually just go with the flow.
How and where did you find the love for mixed martial arts?
Jonathan Pearce – I started wrestling when I was 12 and up finishing second estate my senior year wasn’t satisfied with that continue to wrestle in college got in a fight with guys on my 19th birthday quickly realize that this is gonna be my calling.
After a three fight losing streak early on in your career, you’ve bounced back with six wins in your last seven fights. Was there any point in that period where you changed anything about your style, training etc?
Jonathan Pearce – Being smart coming in prepared for the fights, realized I need to step my game up so I did.
Talk me through the fight on your UFC debut against Joe Lauzon, how did you feel before the anticipated debut, and how did you pick yourself up after defeat?
Jonathan Pearce – I felt on top of the world after contender I thought no one could beat me. Quick after the fight I had surgery and it was a long process that I feel like I still haven’t reached my maximum potential.
A dominant victory over Kai Kamaka to win your first fight in the promotion last year, what were your thoughts on that performance?
Jonathan Pearce – My performance was flawless how I like most of my fights to go. It was bitter sweet without the crowd, was still hungry for more after that win I wanted to have bigger names with bigger finishes.
You had a fight scheduled against Gabriel Benitez in May, you haven’t fought in 10 months with Benitez withdrawing, has it been frustrating not being able to fight?
Jonathan Pearce – Little frustrating, but I have seen it all now but main event and 5 rounds, so I feel like it was a good life lesson.
You face Omar Morales in a massive event this weekend, how happy are you to be on a card as big as UFC 266 with fans being involved and do you have any thoughts and predictions for the fight?
Jonathan Pearce – This is what I have visualized my whole life, try to do the biggest best things I can and I feel like this is my calling and I’m a tough fight for anyone. I see my self with my hand raised at the end of the night I feel like over looked in this fight and gives me a lot of motivation to go out there and take what I always felt was mine.
Featured Image Credits to Embed from Getty Images