Holding on to his guns, Pearce left Las Vegas unable to fight on his birthday, and it stung him, but he has no regrets.
“It was so difficult because it was my birthday and I was born to do it,” he said. “I felt like I was letting myself down, not to mention all the people who came down. I couldn’t prove to myself how good I was. I’ve been doing this since I was 12 and I’m 29 now. Professionally, I am 10-4 years old, so I only have to do what I love to do 14 times professionally. But you work your whole life to be able to do it, and people don’t understand if they haven’t competed at this level. It’s a lot of sacrifice.
MORE UFC 266: Fight by fight preview | fighters on the rise | Brian Ortega Gallery | Volkanovsky’s journey | Redo by Curtis Blaydes | Jessica Andrade ready
Many outside of sport don’t understand much about what a fighter has to go through just to get to the competition venue, or even what it takes to fight at the UFC level. Pearce has heard a lot of people say they can do what he does, and while that annoys him, he usually lets it go.
“At the end of the day, you have to choose which fights to fight and which not to fight,” he laughs. “And a lot of times I choose not to fight and I’m like, ‘Let them look silly, let them say what they’re going to say.’ But if they keep moving forward, then you’ll be like, “Okay, why didn’t you do it or why don’t you?
That won’t happen, and Pearce knows it, which is why he chooses to focus on the big things, including Saturday’s comeback against Omar Morales. It’s an important fight for the two featherweights, and Pearce is especially excited to hear the crowd roar at T-Mobile Arena, his first chance to do so since making his Octagon debut in October 2019. And while it’s not easy either, compared to fighting in UFC APEX, he doesn’t mind.
“When you watch it on TV you think to yourself, ‘Aw, I can do this,’ but you can’t even hear your coaches,” says Pearce. “You think you went to a concert and it was loud, but you’re not the one playing. This is the difference. So you have to keep the party going, and people don’t understand that. So that’s what it’s all about – it’s about being an artist and just being real and loving what you do.
The best fights between the ultimate combat trainers
Pearce loves him, even through all the good, the bad, and the ugly. He’s a fighter, and he doesn’t stop until… well, until he decides he’s got to where he wants to be.
“It took me almost a decade to get to this point where I did something that I got into my head and said I was going to do it,” he said. “And there’s a lot of failures that you stack up to get that big win, but winning isn’t just winning; winning is winning and clinging to it. And that’s something that’s very difficult to do, and a lot of people can’t do it, but I’m trying to do it. All I can tell anyone is to keep going. There is no going back. No matter how bad it is or how difficult it is or how dark it is, because the ups and downs that we go through, no one will ever know, and that is what life really is. .