UFC veteran Ross Pearson retires after 15 years

English lightweight Ross Pearson announced his retirement from mixed martial arts on Tuesday, bringing his 15-year professional career to an end.

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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. 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. To my family, my teammates, and my friends, your support has been endless and I appreciate all of you - with a special shout out to all the north east training partners & coaches who where there for me in the beginning @grapplefit to @alliancemma for taking me in as part of the family, my wife @kristiejpearson for following my dream with me and all the guys at @centralcoastmma @coach_jamie_pittman_ @centralcoastbarbell And to all my fans , thanks for all the love & support ! Ross "The Real Deal" Pearson

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Pearson, 34, retires with a final record of 20-16. He suffered a first-round knockout loss to Desmond Green last weekend in Philadelphia, his sixth loss in his past seven fights.

Fighting out of Sunderland, England, Pearson debuted with the UFC in 2009. He won the ninth season of The Ultimate Fighter reality series and went on to face some of the top names at featherweight and lightweight, including Edson Barboza, Cub Swanson, Diego Sanchez, Gray Maynard, Al Iaquinta and Jorge Masvidal.

Pearson won the UFC's "Fight of the Night" honors on three occasions.