Going into the final fight of his mixed martial arts (MMA) career, Brad Pickett was riding a two-fight losing streak. Admittedly, “One Punch” knew he could have very well been cut from Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) based on his previous losses, but was thankful he had the chance to go out with a win.
And not just with a win, with some “dignity,” as the long-time veteran proclaimed that going out on his own terms was something he longed for. Unfortunately, Pickett didn’t get the fairy tale ending he wanted after getting knocked out by Marlon Vera in front of his hometown crowd (see it again here).
But, if you think Pickett is bitter after suffering his third straight defeat, he’s not
“It just shows basically I made the right decision before going into this fight,” Pickett said during the post-fight press conference (via MMA Fighting). “I was winning the fight for 14 minutes and then I got head kicked. And to be honest, the younger me would’ve chewed that up and just carried on going.
“So it’s definitely the right decision and obviously it’s not the fairy tale ending that myself and probably everybody else wanted,” he continued. “I think everyone in there was rooting for me to win apart from Marlon and his corner, but I’m happy for him, he gets to feed his kids.”
That’s Pickett’s career in a nutshell for you.
He was indeed winning on the judges scorecards prior to the devastating kick landed on his temple that sent him crashing to the canvas, but instead of laying-and-praying his way to a win, “One Punch” stuck to his mantra and let it all hang out to please the fans ... even if it did come at the expenses of a perfect swan song in his home country.
“It’s me, it’s my fighting style – live by the sword, die by the sword,” Pickett explained. “Like I said, I fight for the fans. I could’ve maybe, I didn’t have trouble taking him down when I went for the takedown, so I could’ve just taken him down laid on him and make it boring.
“But for me, I wanted to be in a typical Brad Pickett fight, and a typical Brad Pickett fight would’ve been to get up from that and kept on fighting, but unfortunately my age didn’t let me get up as quick as I could, you know,” he added. “I told the referee before the fight, ‘let me go stiff,’ and I felt I was okay a little bit, but obviously I have to look at it back. I love [referee] Grant Waterman, and I know he’s got a job to do.”
No, Pickett never won gold under the UFC or WEC banners, but he he did the respect of his foes and admiration of fight fans across the globe for his entertaining fighting style.
And to some, that’s more important.
Pickett may leave the sport of MMA with three straight defeats, but he should be remembered as a slugger who wasn’t afraid to get into a brawl, stand toe-to-toe to see who the baddest hombre in the cage really was.