Ross Pearson announces MMA retirement

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Ross Pearson never won a world championship, but over the course of a pro mixed martial arts career which dates back to 2004, he certainly lived up to his nickname of “The Real Deal.”

The Sunderland, England native won “The Ultimate Fighter 9” in 2009 and then became a regular part of the UFC scenery for nearly a decade. Win or lose, Pearson was a competitor capable of stealing the show on any given night, as evidenced by his three career “Fight of the Night” postfight bonuses.

Monday, the 34-year old Pearson announced via Instagram he’s retiring from MMA, although he appeared to leave the door open for eventually participating in other forms of competition.

“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’s post read. “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.”

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