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UFC Fight Night 84 results: Brad Pickett splits Francisco Rivera in London

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Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Brad Pickett (25-11) defeated Francisco Rivera (11-6 1NC) via split decision at UFC Fight Night 84 earlier today (Sat. Feb. 27, 2016) inside The O2 Arena in London, England.

Pickett, 37, was out-struck on the feet throughout most of the contest, and knocked down in the opening round, but he did land some timely takedowns during the three-round fight. Perhaps that was enough to convince the judges.

In the first round, the 34-year-old Rivera connected on a right hand, which sat Pickett down, but  "One Punch" immediately recovered and got back to his feet. Rivera began connecting more frequently in the final two minutes of the round and wobbled Pickett another time with a pair of punches. With less than 20 seconds left the two stood toe-to-toe swinging wildly to the delight of London crowd.

In the second, Pickett landed a takedown on Rivera and soon passed into half guard. Rivera was able to escape and get back to his feet. While the two were at range Rivera landed accurately on Pickett. The 37-year-old English veteran moved in and out looking to land, but Rivera was content and landed counter strikes when available to him. Rivera landed a takedown and when the two got back to their feet, Pickett landed a left hook below the belt. Referee Neil Hall halted the bout to allow Rivera to recover. With ten seconds left the two, again, stood in the pocket and exchanged violently.

Pickett came in for a takedown early on in the final round, but Rivera defended it. "Cisco" attempted a guillotine, but Pickett avoided it and pushed over into side control to defend it. Pickett was looking to pass, but referee Neil Hall stood the two up. Rivera continued to get the better of the standup exchanges and landed a pair of right hands after catching a kick. Rivera landed a takedown, but Pickett immediately got back up. Pickett then landed a takedown of his own and passed into side control soon after. He could not mount much offense from that favorable position.

It was a somewhat questionable decision by the judges in a close bout, but an important win for Pickett, who snaps a three-fight losing streak and is now 5-6 in UFC. Tough loss for Rivera, who fought well. His stock shouldn't drop too far after today's defeat. He is now 4-4 1NC in UFC competition.

For complete UFC Fight Night 84 "Silva vs. Bisping" results, including play-by-play updates, click here.