The Punisher Pierson Sets Focus on Kim
At times a person plays the ‘what if’ game in life and it can drive them insane as they second guess their past decisions. More people need to take a lesson from Sean Pierson when it comes to this thought process. After losing to Jake Ellenberger at UFC 129 in Toronto, Pierson will look to rebound in Las Vegas against Dong-hyun Kim this weekend at UFC 141. To be successful against Kim, Pierson will need to forget his previous loss.
“To be honest, it’s gone,” says Pierson of his last fight. “With being a fighter, you have to have a short memory. I watched the fight a couple of times and I will never watch it again. I just have a short term memory and it is the same with wins. I am a different fighter than I was then and even if I won that fight I am still a different fighter. You can’t dwell on that kind of stuff. I got a fight in two weeks. I can’t be thinking about what happened eight months ago or whenever it was.”
While he may not be looking back at his last fight, he knows the dangers that lie ahead. Dong-hyun Kim is a dangerous opponent. Known by the nickname ‘The Stun Gun’, Kim has gone 5-1-1 since joining the UFC back in 2008 and has beaten the likes of TJ Grant, Amir Sadollah and Nate Diaz. Kim has been known for his stand up and his Judo skills throughout his career. Kim has been elusive in most of his fights and Pierson knows there are not many holes that Kim exposes.
“He is a guy that can pose a lot of problems,” says Pierson. “He is 6’1, 6’2. A taller guy with a longer reach and his is an outstanding grappler. I have looked at most of his fights. Once he gets a hold of you, he is able to drive you to the ground and he does have a smothering style and he wears you out because he is so strong. Pretty much every fight I have seen him in the UFC, he has given someone nightmares, except for (Carlos) Condit, in the first round with takedowns and his grappling is great. He does not make a lot of mistakes. He capitalizes and makes you work. His standup is a little bit underrated. He has not had to show it much in the UFC due to the fact that he has such great grappling. So we will have to try and figure out and see if I can pose some problems for him.”
Pierson will come in injury free and with a new nickname for his fight with Kim. The nickname, The Punisher, comes from his love of the classic Marvel character and comic books from when he was younger. He will also come into the fight with a great training camp.
With his training camp, Sean has been splitting time between his Tapstar gym in his hometown area of Toronto and Tristar in Montreal. Pierson has some of top guys in Canada to train with in his own backyard including Adrian Wooley, Michael Imperato and Misha Cirkunov. In Montreal, he gets the added benefit of training with the likes of fellow UFC fighters like GSP, Rory MacDonald, and Kenny Florian.
“The training partners are the main thing,” Pierson says of Tristar. “There are great coaches everywhere and we got some great coaches and training partners here (in Toronto) too. What Montreal brings to the table is a lot of pro athletes that are always coming into the gym. Training partners is the key because if you can get 30 to 40 different looks when you are training, it is more likely that one training partner is going to give you a more similar look as the guy you’re fighting. He will never be exactly mimicking the guy you are fighting, but the more styles you have to adapt to when you’re training, the more you are used to it when you’re going into a fight. If you’re used to training with the same three or four guys every single day, it is less likely that someone is mimicking the style of the guy you’re fighting. So I am getting all these great training partners and they got a ton of top fighters. You’re always going to get different looks.”
While training to fight against a guy like Kim is difficult in itself, it is especially harder to do everything during the holiday season. Besides training at least twice a day, Pierson also has to fit in family time, spending quality time with his son Logan, doing promotional work with the UFC, and working with his sponsors. Finally, during the holiday season, dieting can be the hardest thing on his plate with people usually over-indulging and it does not help that his wife likes to make the baked goods during the season.
While juggling this mix of training, family life and doing appearances, Sean recently had the opportunity to speak at an anti-bullying seminar this month with several other fighters. Some people were not happy with the UFC helping at this event. Toronto councillor Doug Ford and others did not like the fact that guys who get paid to fight for a living were involved. This bothered Pierson.
“It bothers me in a lot of different ways,” says Sean. “It really bothers me is whether you like what I do or not, I don’t understand how you can put a negative spin on myself or Sam (Stout) or Mark (Hominick). We are trying to do good things. I am trying to do the positive here. I am trying to be a strong role model for people. It doesn’t matter if you like what I do or not, I am out here trying to do my best to be a role model. I don’t understand the negative connotation with that. People complain all the time about sports figures not being good role models, well were out here trying to be good role models and still getting flack. I think a lot of people gave us positive reinforcement for it and there was a little bit of negative for it. I will stick with the positive because what you do in life will have positives and negatives and I will stick with that.”
Pierson is mentally strong and will put the comments behind him just as he can put his loss to Ellenberger in his rear view mirror. The Stun Gun is coming for him at UFC 141 and The Punisher will need all the focus he can in order to record his second UFC victory.