Brad Pickett will be looking to continue his rise up the ladder in the UFC flyweight division when he faces Ian McCall this weekend at Fight Night 46 in Ireland. “One Punch” made a successful 125-pound debut in his last appearance against Neil Seery, while the No. 3 ranked McCall will just be glad to return to the Octagon after enduring some injury issues. The stakes are high in Dublin for what should be an action-packed affair.
Pickett is a longtime former bantamweight who decided it was time for a change after being submitted by 135-pound contender Michael McDonald. He felt the move down in weight would give him a prime opportunity to land a title shot if he could string together a couple of wins. Pickett owns a career victory over current champion Demetrious Johnson when the pair fought under the WEC banner. A victory over McCall could set Pickett up for a future showdown against “Mighty Mouse”, if Johnson is successful against Chris Cariaso in their title clash at UFC 177.
The English fighter is known for his aggressive, hard-charging style. He possesses solid striking skills and has a dangerous ground game. Pickett has already picked up a handful of Fight Night bonuses in his seven-fight UFC career. He’s faced strong competition in the forms of former champion Renan Barao and former title challengers Eddie Wineland and McDonald. Pickett has produced 17 finishes by knockout or submission in his 24 career wins.
The No. 3 ranked McCall has been inactive since a unanimous decision win over Iliarde Santos back at UFC 163. He had been slated to originally face Pickett at Fight Night 37 in England but was forced out of that contest due to an injury. McCall also had to withdraw from a date last December against Scott Jorgensen. He’s eager to get back to business and prove that he remains a legitimate title threat.
“Uncle Creepy” looms as a dangerous assignment for Pickett as McCall has already faced many of the division’s best. He has fought Johnson twice and has also squared off against Joseph Benavidez, Jussier Formiga and Dustin Ortiz. He has compiled a 12-4-1 record with seven finishes to his credit. McCall pushes a fast pace and possesses a solid all-around game.
UFC matchmakers made the right call in electing to rebook this matchup. It should be a fan-friendly affair and is a contest that will have major ramifications within the 125-pound landscape. The winner could very well earn a future title shot. It shapes up as a strong contender to produce the Fight of the Night in Dublin.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports