Ep. #119 – Jonathan Pearce

Jonathan Pearce is a mixed martial artist who competes in the Featherweight division of the UFC. The Dana White Contender Series alum has finished nine of his ten opponents en route including a five fight streak which earned him a UFC contract.


jonathan Pearce: Boom we’re back episode, 119 clean shaven got rid of the mustache um movember is done so uh got rid of it um and we are back with episode. 119 um, i’m very, very happy to uh to have jonathan pierce join me on this episode. He had a huge win. He looked very, very impressive after a long layoff, getting a very, very impressive win over kai kamaka without further ado i’ll bring him on hey man how’s it going good. How are you doing not too bad so uh? How are things there? Man, how’s how’s things with the pandemic, there’s a lot of a lot of stuff going on right now in the world, so uh. How are you holding up man uh, i’m doing good. I think the covid was good for me. I got to move back home and hit my shoulder up and save some money up and work and uh get ready to come back out to arizona and train and do do it all over again. Yeah you looked uh man very, very good. Long layoff obviously had to deal with your shoulder had to bounce back from from a loss, and you looked very very good. So how does it feel to get your first ufc win the bell surreal. That night i felt like i go back. I was expecting a war but uh, you know i. I got a clean finish and came out unscathed. Probably the best i’ve ever came out of the cage like not hurt and stuff. So i was excited about that and to be able to do that on the highest level. How did you uh? How did you celebrate? Obviously you were in vegas, but you couldn’t celebrate, like you usually would so uh how’d you celebrate, i went and my parents had watched it at a bar downtown and i went met up with them there and everybody knew who i was because my dad was screaming. My name, that’s my boy. You know why my fight was going on. So it was a good time and i got to spend some quality time with my family. That’S good. Did you uh. Did you get a lot of drinks and uh food in you? I’M sure i would oh yeah. Oh yeah, put some light back on good um, so um. How did it feel having a new opponent i mean you were originally scheduled to face sean woodson change of opponents really just seemed like nothing can go your way. I mean you get thrown a legend and then you get the shoulder injury and then you’re like finally got a fight, oh by the way, a couple weeks out, i think, less than a week out, but here’s kai um. I thought that i i felt like something like that could happen. You know and uh i was ready for whatever you know i was. I was ready to fight. Whoever came in the cage and i think, fighting low for my debut was like really good experience. So i have like a show that i can hold myself to like if i’m prepared to fight it it’s like at the top. I want to talk a little bit about that uh about that fight. Obviously joe lauzon is a future hall of famer one of the best lightweights to ever. Do it, everybody loves joe lozon when you were drawn against him in your debut. What was your initial reaction? Well, i was excited. I thought i was going to do great. I thought, thank god, never fought the king in his castle. You know i never fought a dude at his hometown for the ufc, so i gained a lot of experience with that and you know coming more prepared and i was just kind of coasted in my career. It 45 and work harder and like this isn’t a gamer, you know you can get cut, um, yeah and just put in that extra extra mile. How did you feel down at 145? I felt great, i think, that’s home for me now and i’m want to take over the 45 division. So i want to ask about the layoff. Obviously, a lot of people have a layoff to do the code due to covet and whatnot, but you uh, you had some other stuff going on there with your shoulder. So how did the shoulder feel any nagging injuries and how was the recovery it felt good in the fight um. You know i still feel like there’s more room for improvement on it. Like it’ll come around more and more and more as i go but uh you know, i i’d hurt my foot and in the fight and uh i just was like trying to be wary of that, but uh for the most part. Other than that i was good. You know i got an mri today got a x-ray, so i think they’re going to try to boot me up, but i want to get back in there say you want to get back in there. Do you want to get back in there soon to make up for that time, that you’ve lost or or are you looking at? You know maybe a little bit of a like this win was like bittersweet because, like i felt like, i should have done that back when i fought lows on and then i get this opportunity and do what i thought i should have already done so for me, Like i feel like, i want another fight, so i can feel like. Okay now i actually won. You know what i mean um, not not that it was the long layoff or anything like that. I just feel like you know, fights will come as they come like. I could fight six times in a year. You know so. Uh just got ta be smart about this career and uh. You know. Take it a day at a time live in the moment. It’S a it’s a bit harder when you’re coming off a loss to to kind of pick who you choose, who pick pick who you fight, because it’s usually all right. Well, i don’t really get a say: it’s whoever the ufc throws at me, but coming off a win, you kind of have some sort of say you can you have the right to call out people? You know you’ve got some momentum going. Is there anybody of interest to you and uh? What sort of timeline are you looking at for for a return? Obviously you said sooner rather than later, but is there a date they’re gon na boot me up like i’m ready to cut wait and do it again right now, but they’re gon na boot me up and then i’m gon na meet with my coaches and stuff tomorrow And like get a game plan down like when i want to get back in, but as soon as i could get back in is when i i feel most comfortable, you know um, i couldn’t get a specific day. You know we won’t spoil spar for a few weeks um, but i wouldn’t mind fighting like uh. What’S his name, that’s what was that charles, charles rosa charles rosa and uh, i think uh derrick minor, my name got ran together, but uh. You know, like the. I got i got the offer to fight charles rosa back for the fight with lowe’s on and i was like no i’m gon na do 55.. So if they, if, if they, if that fight still they like you know, i’m not i’m not here to grab my mouth like i’m here to just you know, do do what i came to do. You know go out there win fights and be people i’m not supposed to be. But at this point it’s a strategy so like i want the fights that are going to get me where i have a number next to my name. So those fights not it might not even be the one, the correct ones. That’S what that meeting’s about for me tomorrow. So once i got that, then i can put up and play what uh, what exactly i’m gon na do and then uh start pushing it, because i feel like right now, the market’s hot for me. So i need to like make a move and out – and i and plus i need to make a move. I just had to get pulled back a little bit because of the x-ray and stuff like that. I want to talk a little bit. I want to do like a little bit of a throwback here, because you know at one point in your career, you were on a three-fight losing streak, seven fights in uh. You know your career on a four four fight win streak: you’re like oh, my god. This is great, i’m a great fighter. I’Ve got so much momentum and then you lose three fights it’s hard and you see so many fighters who go through something like that and they end up calling it a career. How do you mentalize it and how do you battle through that and say you know what i’m still gon na make the ufc? I don’t care if i’m on a three-fight losing streak, i’m gon na make it kind of describe that moment in your career. It was like do or die. My back was up against a wall and uh like i was like well, i’ve done it four times. Why couldn’t i do it again? I lost one real fast like in the first round and like i had things going on in my life at that point that, and i was young and i was taking fights because i didn’t i was um trying to keep from getting in trouble outside of the Cage you know so i was like. Oh i’ll, just take this fight relieve some stress, and i did that back to back and it’s like within a couple of weeks where i took those losses, so i i did that just for them for the main cause. You know, even if i did lose them, it wasn’t that big of a deal, but when i was gon na fight um the mirror for bellator after i was on three pot losing streak. I was like you know what, like i’m gon na smash this guy. No one thinks i can do it, but me, and i’m gon na show and that’s pretty much what the game’s about you know like they’re gon na match you against the best, the guy or the best match that they think so they can have a a good Fight and you got there and that’s your moment to be able to prove that you’re better than that guy. So i just went out there and put it all together and i started smashing. Dudes again went on a six-fight win streak and then i lost to lowe’s on but people, but people like to see it is a loss like they’re, not true fans, they don’t know who lozon is you know what i mean so like i’m not losing the scrubs? Like i’m losing to like people who are going to go down the hall of fame – and i think that’s good experience – you know, like that’s my debut and now i go, and i find another guy that i was supposed to but beat me but was kind of Like in my range, he was supposed to smash me three to one odds, but now you start to see you know like yeah. I wasn’t quite ready for that. One fight, but maybe run it back now. You know so and all right, respect to loads on. You know i mean that’s why i wanted that opponent. So do you do you embrace the underdog role? I know there’s so many fighters who, like being the underdog they like easier because it’s already took it away from you and you just got to get it back. The harder part is is when you’re the one who’s supposed to beat lows on and you’ve got it, and then someone takes it from you and then you got to take it back from them in that 15 minutes. So um, it’s kind of like football. You know like you, you got, you won the toss and you get the ball first, but he might get the ball at the end, so he it’s just. This is the way it goes and um. You know i love this sport now i just want to get out there and do it again when you uh. I hear so many different stories about how people end up finding the sport of mma, but, unlike a lot of current mma fighters, you you come from hard work. You come from from working hard with your dad and whatnot so kind of describe the mentality that that instilled in you and how that’s changed both who you are as a person, but also as a fighter um, i think, with anything in life. If you can out endure like the suffering, then you will receive what is coming to you like it’s just as long as you don’t quit. You’Re gon na be a success and that’s literally all it is and just putting putting it in day in and day out and there’s going to be trying testing days but like that’s when you got ta find something deep down in you like and remember. Oh, i remember the days back when i wrestled and i was getting beat by the girls and stuff you know, but now that no one no one would even think that that was possible. You know so it’s just cool to be able to look back and be like. You know this. This isn’t anything new. I’Ve always been reaching for the same goal. It just might have been like wrestling versus fighting, so i’m just man. I just wanted to lie me on how i wish i wasn’t injured right now, so i could just get back out there. You hear that so often, like guys, are just on this high and they want to just jump back in there and it’s uh, it’s crazy. For me to see, because if i had a fight – and i won i’d, be like taking it, i’ve taken it for six months, it’d be like look, i’m still, i’m still a winner. I wouldn’t want to go. The thing is that, like i won, i’m a winner like i hit a home run, but i wanted a grand slam. You know what i mean and you ain’t gon na hit a grand slam just sitting on first base. So i i really want to get back out there and try and i’m not trying to hold my spot. You know i mean like i want to like be an active fighter. You know i just i just had to have surgery and it put me down, but i think that was long overdue like i wrestled since i was 12, so i could have done that way back in the day and just it got to the point where now I needed it, so i think you know i’m 28, i’m right at the beginning of my peak and i think it’s just gon na go up from here yeah and there’s a lot of recency bias in this sport. Like a lot of fans. Remember the past two three months and then, if you don’t take a fight, they kind of forget about you, you kind of like until your name is drawn in the hat again they kind of forget it. This is an entertainment business like entertain me or you know. I need somebody who’s gon na entertain me. So that’s how i’ve looked at it and um i’m prepared to go back out there and do it again. You know i want to talk about some, some coaching choices, you’ve made and some decisions you made you. You have been spending a lot of time going back home back to your roots. How how significant was that for this camp? I think uh, you know, don’t forget where you come from and uh. I just went out there and worked jiu jitsu got my shoulders. Strong did rehab lifted, did a lot of strength and conditioning like i was getting up and i’d go to work and then three days a week, i’d go, do pt, lifting i’m not talking no little stuff. I’M talking some big boy stuff, like over 500 reps and running running with the sandbag for a mile three miles you know so like i was going hard way like way back before may you know – and i was ready for this camp because i just took a Chapter out of blazon’s book, you know he had that loss and took like 18 months or something like that and trained for me. So i might as well. You know if you can’t beat them join them. So i just i just cheated off his test to pass the class. You know so that that’s what us young fighters like i’ve, noticed in my early career. I need to have more experience and be around this stuff and be around older fighters. So i can see where, as me as a young ufc fighter can come up and be those guys that are names later on in the ufc yeah yeah. It’S true and i i really do find a lot of guys tend to to sway away from their roots. You know they get excited, they’re like oh, my god, att, aka or whatever the gym may be, but they tend to forget about who got them to the dance, and it is good to see they got me. They got me to the dance, but at a certain point i had to go to fight ready, because i was such like a powerhouse that i needed other people that could beat me and i felt, like you know i got most of my sparring – got a fight Ready and uh those guys i was at the left, the lab went to fight ready and uh. I’M i’m happy with it. You know i had eddie chaw is my striking coach um. I had frankie as my wrestling coach for this one chad over at fight, ready and then casey for jiu jitsu, so i was definitely in the right spot when i went out there that night yeah and such such a a lot of experience there too frankie signs. Obviously, ufc veteran has been around for a while, so a lot of experience there at fight ready that you may not be able to to have gotten back home. So i want to talk a little bit uh about an upcoming fight. I can’t i can’t let you go without asking this. I’M only going to ask a couple more questions, but is brandon uh. They both looked unbelievable last time out. Do you have a a a pick for that fight, church fight, um, uh, davidson figueroa versus uh, brandon moreno? I, like figure? Eight. Oh man he’s a he’s, a he’s, a cool dude. I like his style and uh. I think he’s got it, but you know i always i always like watching and i always like to cheer the underdog on too, because it’s just you know, that’s what makes it fun uh with the sport so always watching the guys who aren’t gon na supposed to Win come back and win. That’S that’s always the best yeah. That’S i mean i’m the same way. It’S like if my favorite fighter isn’t fighting, i’m always going for the underdog yeah. That’S uh, that’s kind of the way i look at it and with christmas, around the corner, um it’d be nice to know what what’s on your wish list, if you could have one thing for christmas, what would it be a new ufc contract, something one can’t buy. You know what i mean i like that i like that um and anyone you want to thank anyone. You want to plug um. This is your opportunity to do it before me. I want to thank uh david at fight ready, uh for supporting us and he’s the gym there. I want to thank uh all my coaches, frankie uh, eddie, cha, casey oxendine, chad. All those guys are fight, ready and uh. Anybody who’s been a part of my process. Um, my wrestling coaches – i’ve been doing this since i was 12, so you know i got 16 years of people to thank and uh. You know i’m very grateful for it all right man. Thank you very much for the time. Um you looked unbelievable. I can’t wait to see you back out there all the best men – hopefully the shoulder completely recovers next time out, because we can only imagine how good you’re going to look once that’s completely healed. Thank you, man, all right man, all the best stay safe. You too, all right. There you go jonathan pierce, ufc featherweight. He looked incredible last time out. I can’t wait for his next one. If you haven’t yet be sure to uh like comment and subscribe and i’ll see you guys,

Sergio Pineiro

Sergio Pineiro is the Founder of FighterPath.com and host of the Quarantinecast podcast. Based in Canada he is both a sports journalist and MMA enthusiast. He practices the sport but has a passion for the individual stories of training, fighting and living the fighting lifestyle.

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