In an exclusive interview with John Hyon Ko of Sportskeeda, Jonathan Pearce spoke candidly about many things ahead of his upcoming bout. Pearce's last opponent, Kai Kamaka, has bonafide punching power. Jonathan Pearce defeated Kamaka via second-round TKO after overcoming adversity in the first round of their UFC Vegas 15 showdown.
Upon being asked the questions he would want to answer with his upcoming performance, Jonathan Pearce reflected upon his last fight. JSP believes that just like Kamaka's power, he needs to be careful about Gabriel Benitez's kicks and submission game when the fight goes to the ground. However, Jonathan Pearce said he is ready for anything his opponent might throw at him in the fight. He expects to repeat his performance in the Contender Series or pull off a second consecutive finish:
"The last guy I fought was like, he can hit you hard. This guy is more of a kicker. So that's the test. That kick, if he hurts me with that kick too much to where I can't finish him or I'm not ahead for the rest of the fight, that's what it's gonna be. When I take him down, he's gonna throw up the submission. So, those are the two things you've gotta watch out for in the fight and anything can happen. But I'm ready and I feel like I will go out there and have a good fight. I think I will perform like on Contender (series) or this last fight."
Jonathan Pearce is ready to face every eventuality when he fights Gabriel Benitez
Jonathan Pearce went on to speak about the possible ways in which the Gabriel Benitez fight could unfold. JSP is confident he will be able to avoid Benitez's kicks and cruise to victory comfortably. However, he is not underestimating his opponent and will be able to handle a back-and-forth war if it comes to that:
"I don't think a dogfight is necessary but you don't know how things get in there because like he might come out like a dog, (and) you have to fight like a dog. And if he keeps it that way, maybe he gets knocked out. Maybe I am in a better shape than him and it's not a dog fight. So a lot can happen in there. To me, I see myself avoiding the kick and pretty much control most of the pace of the fight. But, I am prepared for a 15-minute war. If you watch my contender fight, I hit him over 220 times in like 12 minutes. I'm ready to do that again if it's necessary. But I think I can finish this fight."
Jonathan Pearce earned a UFC contract by finishing Jacob Rosales in Dana White's contender series in July 2019. Pierce landed a whopping 220 significant strikes on Rosales in the fight. However, JSP made a smart adjustment in the third round and started going for the takedowns after Rosales refused to be put away with punches. The adjustment eventually gave him the necessary opening and led to the finish. While talking about the electrifying performance, Pearce told Sportskeeda that he likes to enjoy the fights without necessarily thinking about the pace and the look of the performance:
"I got tired of hitting him with the uppercuts man. It felt to me like, I am not gonna be able to hit this guy and knock him out. So I'm gonna have to find a different way. So, I started taking him down and try to wrestle him in the third round and I just found that one lucky punch, the H-Bomb, and that was enough to get him done. I don't really realize when I'm throwing 220 punches. I'm just kinda in the zone and enjoying the moment," Jonathan Pearce said.
Jonathan Pearce (10-4 MMA, 1-1 UFC) and Gabriel Benitez (22-8 MMA, 6-4 UFC) both bounced back from losses in their previous fights against Kai Kamaka and Justin Jaynes respectively. The pair are scheduled to meet inside the UFC octagon at UFC Vegas 25 on May 1, 2021.