Numerous days spent training relentlessly, long spells away from home and routinely matching up against people who are trying to knock you out; it's not easy being a UFC fighter.

All the same, it's a lifestyle that Ross Pearson actively embraces, and ahead of his looming headline matchup against Melvin Guillard on the 26 October in Manchester, he gave GiveMeSport the opportunity to find out a little more.

The 28-year-old former Ultimate Fighter winner, busy training for his first fight before a home-crowd in almost four years, shares the headlines with Michael Bisping on UFC Fight Night, and cannot wait for a night that could prove pivotal in his career.

When asked how preparation was going for the Guillard bout, Pearson responded: "Great. Preparation right now is a little bit scary actually, I'm quite ahead of schedule. So strong, so fit right now.

"Basically after the last fight I had, with Ryan Couture, I kind of went through a few injuries, so I've put them right. My body's feeling great, healthy, I have no knocks or bruises or anything like that so I'm absolutely flying."

The Sunderland-born fighter, who admits his stand-up style is "where I'm most comfortable", is confident of overcoming his next foe, but is also wary of the power that he possesses.

"I'm working all the time but I've gotta keep him guessing," Pearson said.

"I can't let him plant his feet and throw his power shots. Fighting is a lot like playing with fireworks you know, if you don't stick to the rules, bad things happen and you get hurt.

"I've seen how hard Melvin punches and how easy it is for him to knock people out. I've got to stick to a plan and keep him guessing, a lot of set-ups, a lot of feints, and a lot of pressure. I think I can break him with my fight momentum, my fight pressure that I'll put on him.

"I'm going in there looking for the finish against Melvin, I'm not going in there and trying to make a decent fight you know, I wanna put on a good fight and I want the fans to enjoy the fight. But I'm gonna' go out there and maybe put him away in the third round."

Should the fight go to plan, Pearson is confident of challenging the very best his division has to offer. When asked who he would like to fight next, he said: "I just want the best in the world. The number one guy, anyone the UFC throws at us, I want the top of the division. Whoever the UFC feel is right for me, I want the best guy and I'll put my hand up and shout out, I'll say 'I want the number one guy.' It's just a matter of time before I do get that number one spot."

Pearson also lent us his thoughts on the much talked about possibility of a boxing/ UFC crossover fight between heavyweight contender Tyson Fury and the current UFC heavyweight champion, Cain Velasquez. Fury has repeatedly called Velasquez out, but Pearson things it would be a complete mismatch.

"I would love to see Cain Velasquez not just beat Tyson Fury, but annihilate him. It would be a good fight to watch. You know Tyson's hyping up fights and talks smack but Cain is one bad dude and he's not the type of guy that you talk smack to. But yeah I'd love to see Tyson step up and have a shot."

Moving onto the subject of Michael Bisping, who he is sharing the October 26 main event with, Pearson is confident that his fellow Brit has every chance of winning his fight against Mark Munoz.

"You know Mike has got a great chance in that fight. I don't know why people are underestimating Mike, he does really well against strong, aggressive wrestlers. He puts on a pace of a fight that a wrestler can't handle. He's got real good range, real good movement and he's got real good counter-striking.

"I don't think Michael Bisping get's the respect that he deserves, coming back from a knockout [against Dan Henderson] like that and competing the way he does with the best guys in the world. No one gives him respect for that. You see some fighters that get knocked out bad like that and that's their career over. But Michael Bisping has come back and fought top ten guys and he's put on amazing performances since then."

Ross Pearson takes on Melvin Guillard at The Phones 4U Arena in Manchester on 26th October. Tickets for UFC® MANCHESTER 2013: BISPING vs. MUNOZ are available from www.ticketmaster.co.uk and www.phones4uarena.co.uk.

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