After claiming his first finish in the UFC, lightweight Desmond Green dedicated his win at UFC Philadelphia to his manager, and Blackzilians founder, the late Glenn Robinson.
Philadelphia, PA — It’s safe to say that UFC Philadelphia was a bit of an emotional roller coaster for UFC lightweight Desmond Green. Coming into the bout, he’d lost three of five fights, all via decision. All losses outside the U.S. In two of those losses, his opponent had missed weight. So getting a quick finish against Ross Pearson at the Philly card (UFC on ESPN 2) was huge.
Something else was on his mind Saturday as well, he told media outlets including Cageside Press following the fight. Blackzilians founder Glenn Robinson, who passed away last September. Robinson was also a manager for Green, who helped get him signed with the UFC. His relationship with the fighter went past that, however.
“Before I even got into the UFC, this guy, he helped me and my family, my kids move from New York to Florida. Gave us a place to stay, found me a job, let me train on the team, introduced me to all these great guys. Had a couple of fights, and then he ended up getting me signed in the UFC,” Green remembered. Clearly, Robinson had a huge impact on his career, and was actively involved right up to ‘The Predator’s’ last fight.
“He always had big dreams for me. He passed away literally two days after my last fight, in Moscow,” Green continued. “The day before he passed away, he let me know ‘good fight, it’s a tough decision, when you get back, come to the house, we’ll have dinner, we’ll talk about our next move.’ I just know for sure that he would have been proud of this.”
“Leading up all week, I didn’t say anything to the media, but my family knew I was dedicating this fight to him.” With that in mind, the Green’s finish of Pearson, a veteran in the sport, is all the more impressive.
Green also broke down the finish back stage, recalling that “after the first two shots, I seen it, he like shut it off. I went for a third one, he came up, but he wasn’t guarding the shot. It was kind of like, he had both hands on the ground.” It wasn’t a good spot for Pearson to be in, for sure. “I was putting my whole hip in it. I was taking a page out of my boy Rumble’s book when he fought Gustafsson. He really was leaning into the punches. After like the fourth one, I knew it was going to be over. Even if [Pearson] got up, I knew his head wasn’t going to be where it was supposed to be.”
Green would have liked a bonus — “man I got four kids, trust me. I’m hoping I get that bonus for sure” — but unfortunately, it didn’t come. Jack Hermansson and Paul Craig scored the Performance of the Night awards instead.
However, the win will remain sweet for Green after struggling with decisions. “With me being on the bad end of three decisions out of the country, I really really wanted to take it out of the judge’s hands,” he told reporters Saturday. “This is my fifth fight in the UFC on top of that. You don’t want to be known as that guy, the Decisionator, you know what I mean? The UFC is known as putting you on the back burner if all you do is go fifteen minutes.”
“This is my first fight of 2019. I wanted to kick it off with a finish, and I got it.” The next step, now, is getting on May’s UFC Rochester card. Green, a Rochester native, said post-fight in the octagon that he’d fight for free if need be. As long as he can take part. After battling back from injuries, coming out unscathed from the Pearson fight is the best possible scenario for Green. Because a short turnaround is very possible.
It doesn’t matter who the fight comes against, as long as Green is in Rochester. “Location is the number one thing. I literally will fight anybody,” he said backstage. “I don’t care who it is, I’ll sign it. As long as I’m on that card. I don’t want to fight for free, but I will. Put me on that card, man. Please man, please!”
Watch the full UFC Philadelphia (UFC on ESPN 2) post-fight press scrum with Desmond Green above!