Pearce prepares for next UFC fight | Sports


Jonathan Pearce has been on a roll with his mixed martial arts career. However, he is still looking at the next challenge ahead.

The next challenge is just weeks away for the Johnson City native who now lives in Arizona. Pearce is set to face Makwan Amirkhani in a featherweight bout at UFC Fight Night 208 in London on July 23.

While Pearce (12-4) has a three-fight, eight-fight winning streak in his last nine fights, he’s totally focused on Amirkhani (17-7), who scored a first-round submission in his last fight. .

“I’m not one to sit on my wins and feel comfortable,” Pearce said. “I feel like I have to prove myself every time and show my growth as a fighter.”

Pearce, 30, had a work ethic from an early age, helping out in his father and grandfather’s construction business. The former state finalist wrestler at Science Hill feels like he’s gotten a lot stronger over the past year and is now hitting his peak. Living in the Phoenix area, he also enjoys one of the most advanced workouts in the world.

To prepare for the July 23 fight, he fought extensively with one of Amirkhani’s former opponents. It gave Pearce a lot of confidence in the fight.

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Although he’s not as good at breaking down the film as some fighters, he likes to study to see trends when a fighter is tired, injured, and trying to hide it, or when a fighter makes a big move.

The film is valuable to see how opponents try to finish their fights.

Each of Pearce’s last three wins have come by different methods. He scored a second-round TKO against Kai Kamaka in November 2020 and won via rear-end choke against the highly touted Omar Morales in September 2021.

In February, he went the distance to score a unanimous decision over previously undefeated Christian Rodriguez. While a quality win, he certainly doesn’t take 33-year-old Amirkhani lightly.

“He struggled in Finland on the national team,” Pearce said. “He’s a good wrestler with good chokes. I can’t put myself in a bad spot. I have to lead the fight, apply the pressure because I feel like my pace is what beats people, that and being able to walk through fire and have the will to fight.

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