UFC 221: Romero vs. Rockhold Fight Pass Recap and Results

UFC 221 features Ross Pearson on UFC Fight Pass
Ross Pearson Credit: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

In early UFC 221 prelim action, Ross Pearson looked to snap a four-fight skid.

UFC 221 took place Saturday night in Perth, Australia at the Perth Arena (that’s Sunday morning local time). The event was capped by a last-minute interim title fight between Luke Rockhold, originally scheduled to face middleweight champ Robert Whittaker, and Yoel Romero. The card wound up with a curve ball thrown at it Friday, however, as Romero failed to make weight for the short notice fight.

The end result, only Rockhold could claim the interim title with a win. That said, it mattered little to the fighters on the preliminary card, who were getting to the cage much, much earlier than the main event. Among those appearing on the UFC 221 Fight Pass prelims were Ross Pearson and Mizuto Hirtoa, in the lightweight featured preliminary bout. ‘The Real Deal’ was looking to snap a four-fight losing streak against the Japanese fighter, who was himself coming off a loss to Alexander Volkanovski.

Also on the early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, Hirota’s countryman Teruto Ishihara, training with Urijah Faber’s Team Alpha Male, took on Mexico’s Jose Quinonez. Opening the action, meanwhile, was a welterweight scrap between New Zealand’s Luke Jumeau and Japan’s Daichi Abe.

The action kicks off at 6:30 PM ET exclusively on UFC Fight Pass — check back come fight time for full results and a recap! Also check out our UFC 221 Live Stream & Results page!

Luke Jumeau vs. Daichi Abe

At welterweight, ‘The Jedi’ took on Darth… make that Daichi Abe to kick off the UFC Perth card. A bit of back-and-forth action opened the affair, with Japan’s Abe a little more aggressive. He utilized a lead leg kick, but a left hand by Jumeau knocked Abe down and quickly changed the pace. Daichi would later land a right off a leg kick that was caught by Jumeau, doing some damage of his own. Moments later another right hand landed for Abe, and he began firing off combinations with Jumeau covering up with his back against the cage. Jumeau survived the swarm, but a right counter later dropped him, with Abe firing off hammer fists. Somehow, the dropped Jumeau made it back to his feet, only to take more damage and a big knee. It was back and forth from there, with the biggest surprise being Jumeau surviving the round.

Round two saw a slightly more reserved pace early. Jumeau connected with a solid right over the top a number of times, while Abe was mixing in kicks, uppercuts, and a number of other strikes. Abe, however, was looking a little tired by the midway point of the round. Abe switched to a southpaw stance, while Jumeau looked for a way around the Japanese fighter’s counter-punches. The second, however, was a much stronger round for ‘The Jedi.’

The final sound saw Abe on the attack early with a body kick. A second one followed. Jumeau answered back with a heavy leg kick. Later in the frame, Jumeau would go upstairs with a head kick that landed, causing some swelling. Abe was still looking tired, and while Jumeau finished strong looking to end the fight, it went to the scorecards.

Luke Jumeau def. Daichi Abe by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 28-27)

Teruto Ishihara vs. Jose Alberto Quinonez

Both Teruto Ishihara and Jose Quinonez came out southpaw. Quinonez immediately got the fight to the ground, but Ishihara was quickly back to his feet. From there, however, Quinonez stayed on him, grinding him up against the fence, and later taking the back and dragging him down. Ishihara would survive a rear-naked choke attempt, and they’d finish off the first frame on the feet, with Ishihara scoring with a right hand in a late flurry.

Round two saw the Japanese fighter come out strong, looking to build on the momentum he had going at the end of the first. Ishihara launched a high kick, and later another. Quinonez had his hands up, obviously aware of Teruto’s striking. Quinonez nearly kicked his opponent’s leg out from under him, but Ishihara stayed upright. Needing to answer back after his leg was continually chopped at, Ishihara fired off a leg kick of his own. Surprisingly, Quinonez hadn’t looked for a takedown in the first four minutes, and Ishihara was the clear aggressor in the second.

In the third, Teruto Ishihara stayed on the offensive early. He displayed some solid cardio and continued walking down his opponent. While a number of combinations were exchanged, the remainder of the bout seemed paint-by-numbers, but Quinonez stayed active, and when it went to the scorecards, the judges awarded him a unanimous decision — with one listing a questionable at best 30-27.

Jose Quinonez def. Teruto Ishihara by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Ross Pearson vs. Mizuto Hirota

In the featured Fight Pass prelim, Ross Pearson was looking to snap a four-fight slump.

Pearson vs. Hirota started out tentative, with a lengthy feeling out period to start the first round. The pair then began trading, with neither doing noticeable damage, though the Japanese fighter added in a number of leg kicks that could become a factor later in the fight. In the rare clinches, Pearson was able to shake Hirota off and remain on his feet. At the end of the first, Pearson finally got active with a jump knee attempt and late flurry.

Round two saw Hirota going to the body while continuing to work in leg kicks. Pearson was leading with a jab, and had bloodied his opponent around the nose/mouth area. A left hook over the top landed next for Pearson, and the action was starting to pick up. Hirota would fire off a high kick, and kept on attacking the lead leg; Pearson flashed level change, and continued to be successful with his left hook. A short right hand rocked Pearson in the closing seconds of the round, however

The third was crucial, as there was no telling how rocked Pearson was at the end of the first. Pearson’s jab continued to fly, but he was also showing some damage of his own in the final frame. Pearson changed things up a bit, launching a head kick of his own, and coming to the final minute, it felt like a big finish might sway the judges. Pearson would come on strong in the final thirty seconds, and for the third time in three fights, the judges were required.

Ross Pearson def. Mizuto Hirota by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

UFC 221: Romero vs. Rockhold Fight Pass Preliminary Results:

Ross Pearson def. Mizuto Hirota by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Jose Quinonez def. Teruto Ishihara by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Luke Jumeau def. Daichi Abe by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 28-27)