The O2 arena in London, England is the venue for Saturday’s UFC Fight Pass card. While it is a fight card that features matches, which hold many implications for the future, there is one fight saturated with sentimentality that is bound to steal the show. Brad “One Punch” Pickett; 26-13 is set to face Marlon “Chito” Vera; 8-3-1, in a fight showcased as Pickett’s last.
Retirement is typically a time for celebration for athletes. Recently, baseball stars like Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter and David Ortiz went on season-long retirement tours. Peyton Manning’s retirement was predicated on him winning a Super Bowl.
However, for fighters, the dynamic of retirement is different. Often, retirement for a fighter has a shorter shelf life than some of their fights. Sometimes it is because of lack of financial security. It is no secret that most UFC fighters get paid dirt compared to what other athletes make; Jeter probably made more money in one at bat than most UFC fighters make in a year. Yet, at other times, fighters need to come back because they cannot quite fill the void that combative competition accomplished to fill so well.
For Pickett, we will take what he says at face value, and believe his retirement is for all-time; until he gives us reason to believe otherwise. With that said, we will give our due diligence to pay proper tribute to Pickett here at Ringside Report.
Pickett began his professional career in 2004. He defeated Stuart Grant, Via TKO punches, at Cage Rage 9 in London England. Pickett fought exclusively for Cage Rage for the next 17 months; winning the British Featherweight Championship in September 2005 over Ozzy Halux.
At his best, the now 38-year-old mixed martial artist was a versatile striker with fabulous take down moves, who was not safe to take to the ground; his many submission victories are evidence to such claim.
Pickett’s greatest victory is no doubt his decision victory over Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, at WEC 48. Pickett managed to be the first fighter to beat Johnson by timing the moves of the lighting quick P4P UFC King, with precision and perfection. Pickett consistently took Johnson down, as well as hurt him with strikes, over the course of three rounds. Something that is considered close to impossible today.
Pickett was never able to quite achieve that height of excellence again. He has lost six of his last eight fights. By most accounts, Brad Pickett is retiring at just the right time. Nevertheless, One Time has had a very successful, more than serviceable MMA career. His victory over Johnson was a clinic. MMA 101.
The O2 Arena will be jumping when Brad One Time Pickett enters the cage for the last time. At least that is the plan.
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