George Sotiropoulos ‚Äúis not a professional athlete, is not a man‚ÄĚ, in the opinion of TUF Smashes rival coach Ross Pearson.
A bitter rivalry emerged between the two over the course of the season‚Äôs filming in Australia last year. Things turned particularly sour when there was a physical altercation between Sotiropoulos and one of Pearson‚Äôs coaching staff.
‚ÄúI don't know if I am allowed to talk about this. Well, the season is over, so... he was a bad representation of Australia. I‚Äôve got a lot of Australian friends and he just wasn't a good representation. He wasn't a good representation of a professional athlete.
‚ÄúHe struck one of my training partners from behind in a back alley like a thug would, not a professional fighter. But he didn't have the power to finish him [whereas] my guy put him down with one shot and finished him. That‚Äôs all I can say about it really.
‚ÄúHe is not a professional athlete, he is not a man. He couldn't look at him straight in the face and fight him one on one, he had to cheap shot him from behind. I'll never respect him for that.‚ÄĚ
The fight marked Pearson‚Äôs return to the lightweight division following a 1-1 attempt at a featherweight run. Pearson found the weight cut very hard and felt that it affected not only his cardio but his spirit and his chin. ‚ÄúI just didn‚Äôt want to fight. I didn‚Äôt feel like fighting,‚ÄĚ he says.
His next fight will take place in April when he faces Ryan Couture in Sweden. The Strikeforce import is making his UFC debut and comes into the fight off the back of a controversial decision win over KJ Noons. Pearson is coming off his third-round TKO of Sotiropoulos in December.
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