GOLD COAST, Australia – Ross Pearson had his reasons for not shaking George Sotiropoulos' hand following his third-round TKO victory at UFC on FX 6.
Pearson (14-6 MMA, 6-3 UFC) told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com
) that Sotiropoulos (14-5 MMA, 7-3 UFC) punched his assistant boxing coach off-camera over a Twitter beef.
The boxing coach, Erin Beach, then knocked out Sotiropoulos.
"That's why I said I lost all respect for him, and that's why I didn't shake his hands afterward," Pearson said. "That's why I'm not his friend now – because he acted unprofessional." ...
...Pearson couldn't remember exactly when the incident took place but said it was midway through filming, which, for the six-week filming, means it was in early August.
Pearson said he and Sotiropoulos had been arguing on Twitter, and Beach had inserted himself into the conversation at some point.
Pearson said Sotiropoulos blindsided Beach, who began fighting back. The incident happened "off-camera" on the reality show set in Sydney, he said.
The scrap drew an instant response from UFC President Dana White, who raised Pearson and his team on the phone.
"Dana chewed our heads off," Pearson said. "George was acting unprofessional. I get paid to fight; I don't fight in the streets for free."
While Sotiropoulos' alleged KO would not have fallen within a time frame to preclude him from competing against Pearson, it could have severely affected his preparation if he allowed himself to recover.
Sotiropoulos was "emotional" following his loss, which was his third straight inside the octagon, though the extent of his physical complications from the stoppage weren't known.