Exciting Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bantamweight Brad Pickett made his flyweight debut yesterday (Sat., March 8, 2014) at UFC Fight Night 37 from O2 Arena in London, England.
It wasn't how he envisioned it, however, as "One Punch" was originally slated to face No. 3-ranked Ian McCall. A late injury to "Uncle Creepy," however, prompted Irish veteran Neil Seery to step in and face Pickett in his Octagon debut.
With no UFC experience, Seery came in as a massive underdog. But, that didn't stop him from providing his home fans with a rousing show. "One Punch" took home the win in his new division, and he also took the opportunity to state his grand plans at 125 pounds.
Let's take a look back at "One Punch's" surprisingly two-sided victory.
Seery didn't show any Octagon jitters form the outset, blasting Pickett with a sharp right hand to begin the bout. Pickett responded with a left hook, and we were off to the races. Pickett was wobbled by a big punch, but it seemed to be from a slippage. Seery poked Pickett in his eye to earn a temporary halt. Pickett returned to eat some hard shots from Seery, prompting "One Punch" to secure a takedown. He went for an arm triangle on the ground, but couldn't get it fully latched on. The first round came to a close with both fighters winging power shots.
The second round saw more wild exchanges. Thought to be at a clear disadvantage in the striking department, Seery continued to surprise with his willingness to engage and sharp left hooks, many of which found a home on Pickett's face.
But, the wrestling advantage undoubtedly went to "One Punch," who showed a very quick shot to take down Seery once again. Although the pace slowed considerably on the ground, Pickett finished the second by maintaining solid top control over Seery, who found much more success on the feet.
The third and final round began with Pickett pressing forward with his punches. Seery, in a bit of a desperation mode, fought back with hard shots, nailing Pickett with a few uppercuts and a good combination. The action was stopped by yet another eye poke from Seery, enticing boos from the Pickett-friendly crowd.
The action restarted to more punches being exchanged, with Pickett appearing to gain a slight edge this time around. Pickett returned to his go-to takedown and planted Seery with a double leg. Seery defended well, fighting off a late guillotine attempt. It was too little, too late, as Pickett secured one more takedown to lock up a unanimous decision victory.
After the fight, "One Punch" took the opportunity to call out dominant flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson, who has recently laid waste to all four of the top contenders within the division. Pickett only has one win at flyweight, and it was over a fighter making his UFC debut. He needs to prove himself further before he gets a shot at the belt, so a fight against his original opponent McCall makes a lot of sense for the exciting "One Punch."
Seery impressed by taking on a huge challenge with short notice. His striking was crisp and powerful; he just couldn't stop Pickett's takedowns and that made all the difference in this bout. Still, he'll definitely get another chance in UFC after the show he put on, and he should have the skills to defeat many of the lesser flyweights in the Octagon.
Brad Pickett got a bit tougher challenge than he expected against newcomer Neil Seery, but his wrestling earned him the win. What's next for "One Punch" in the relatively shallow UFC flyweight landscape?