Brad Pickett Retirement Bout Set for UFC London
The fight card will feature plenty of young British talent, but it will be the final bow for local legend Brad Pickett that may well steal the show.
Pickett (26-13) will face Mexican Henry Briones (19-6-1) in what will be his final fight after 12 long years in the sport. The Londoner has competed in the UFC since 2011. Prior to that, he fought in the WEC before it was acquired by Zuffa. Pickett is a pioneer for British fighters in the UFC, and he quickly became a fan favorite with his exciting fights and bonus-winning performances inside the Octagon.
The fairytale isn't quite yet complete though, and If he is to go out with a win in his final fight, he will have to take out Briones, who himself isn't a man short of experience.
Briones and Pickett have been scheduled to meet twice before--at UFC Fight Night 84 and at UFC Fight Night 93--however, both times Briones pulled out of the fight injured.
Briones did manage to make the walk in November last year when he faced Douglas Andrade at UFC Fight Night 98, losing via third-round TKO. That marked his second defeat in a row, having previously lost to the now champion, Cody Garbrandt, back in July of 2015.
Speaking on his "One Punch Podcast" this week, Pickett said he felt the time was right to hang up the gloves. And to him, there was only one place for the occasion.
"I'll be honest with you, it's been a strange one," Pickett said. "I've been battling with myself about retiring or not. It's time though, you know? I'm being honest with myself and the sport is a lot tougher now, especially for my body at my age. I love fighting, don't get me wrong. There's a lot about it that I will definitely miss.
"I'll miss the energy that I get from the fans and that kind of interaction with the fans--I'll definitely miss that. It's just the competing thing as well that I'm going to miss. It's just one of those things, and timing is everything. Yeah, maybe I could linger around and still hang around a little longer, but me, my dream was to finish with a fight in England and in my hometown, so I wanted to retire in The 02. I just didn't feel like I had it in me to hang around for next year.
"There are so many things in the pipeline that I want to do, like open my own gym and stuff like that. I just didn't think I could hang in there for another year with all the wear and tear on my body, so I just wanted to get it done, you know?"