Pickett aims to spoil American party

PUBLISHED: 17:00 23 November 2016

Londoner Brad Pickett (right) in action against Iuri Alcantara at UFC 204 (pic PA)

Londoner Brad Pickett (right) in action against Iuri Alcantara at UFC 204 (pic PA)

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Bow fighter bidding for UFC upset

Bow’s Brad Pickett flies out to the United States to finalise preparations for his next Ultimate Fighting Championship test today (Wednesday).

The 38-year-old is set to face UFC legend Urijah Faber in Sacramento, California on December 17 and is looking to bounce back from defeat against Iuri Alcantara in Manchester.

Win or lose, Faber has said this will be his last fight and Pickett is glad all the attention is on his rival.

He said: “If you don’t know who he is, then you don’t know the sport. He’s a pioneer and we get on well.

“It will be an honour to fight him. All eyes are on him, with it being his last fight and in his home-town.

“There’s a lot of pressure on you to perform in front of your family and friends, but there’s no eyes on me and no pressure on me. I’m there to spoil the party!”

Pickett made his UFC debut in 2011 and has fought at flyweight and bantamweight, entertaining crowds with an exciting style and knockout power to earn the nickname “One Punch”

Four of his 12 UFC outings over the years have been named ‘Fight of the Night’ but he did not get the chance to showcase his skills against Alcantara, who claimed a quickfire win with a triangle choke.

Pickett added: “I’ve been on the other end of those results and I’ve lost fights, but not when I’ve not got a chance to even do anything.

“It sucked and left a bitter taste. I wanted to get back as soon as possible and right the wrongs.

“I’ve never had such a quick turnaround in my UFC career so far. It’s a nice feeling to start training camp already in shape. It’s just a case of ticking over, no rush period to smash my body to get ready.

“It’s been really good so far, I’m just continuing on from my last fight.”

Pickett admits he loved all sport and PE lessons as a youngster, playing mostly football in the winter and cricket in summer.

After moving from east London to Northamptonshire during his childhood, he reached semi-professional level, before injury shattered his dreams.

He added: “I dreamed of being a professional footballer, like most kids. I was a bit small and it was a physical game then, but I played a good level at Rushden & Diamonds, then ruptured my ACL when I was 19, playing for my Sunday morning team.

“It messed up my football career and I started boxing at 21 at the Peacock gym to keep fit really. I had a few amateur fights and a 10-1 record. I liked a challenge and found I was good at it.

“I tried to get back into it when I was 25 and a friend said to me ‘why not try MMA?’.”

The rest, as they say, is history and Pickett has gone on to enjoy a fine MMA career, but knows his time in the sport is coming to an end.

He said: “My health is so important and maybe I will have a swansong back in my home-town next year. It would be my 40th fight and possibly a good time to finish.”

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