If you’re a real fight fan, you recognize this face. He goes by the name of ‘One Punch’. He made that walk with a string vest, cut off jeans, and his famous trilby hat. It’s UK pioneer Brad Pickett.
The early days of Brad’s career seen him compete under the UK’s hot organization at the time which was Cage Rage. Brad competed 13 times under Cage Rage building his profile and adding to that record which now sits at 25-14. A veteran of our game.
Brad’s first title as a professional came on the 10th of September in 2005 at Cage Rage 13. He was crowned the Cage Rage British Featherweight Champion by defeating Ozzy Haluk by submission.
The next chapter came on the 30th of October in 2009. World Extreme Cage Fighting had announced they had signed Brad Pickett to a multi-fight deal. Pickett made his WEC debut as a bantamweight defeating Kyle Dietz in Las Vegas. Then took on the challenge of Demetrious Johnson who many believe is the greatest mixed martial artist to this day. The two had a great contest exchanging strikes and multiple takedowns. Pickett controlled the fight and was more dominant on the ground earning him a win via decision. Two more bouts under the WEC concluded the end to the story as the WEC merged with the UFC and all fighters transitioned over.
Brad had made his UFC debut against high flying Renan Barão which was a tough task for anybody. The UFC career of Brad Pickett was like any, the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. The kill or be killed attitude always stood out when Pickett entered the octagon.
Picking up wins over Damacio Page, Yves Jabouin and Mike Easton at Bantamweight. The Englishmen then took the decision to move to Flyweight for two bouts. However, he quickly recognized the style of fighting wasn’t for him at that weight class.
All the years of combat had taken its toll and it was clear to see. The body and mind weren’t the same as the years passed by. Losing bouts to guys who he firmly believes he should be beating, it was time to reconsider.
The emotional moment came at UFC London, Brad had taken a loss to Marlon Vera in his home country and it was time to call it a day. Humble in victory or defeat, Brad propped Vera for the win and dropped the famous trilby hat in the center of the octagon. The curtains had closed and it called an end to the great career of Brad ‘One Punch’ Pickett.
Bare Knuckle Fighting
We thought we’d seen the last of Brad, in a fighting manner that is. Brad Pickett signed with BKB. A bare-knuckle fighting organization in the UK, and was scheduled to make his debut in the sport. Living up the ‘One Punch’ name Brad successfully picked up a win via KO in his BKB debut.
The closure of the BKB chapter shows you the type of guy and fighter Brad is. He was in it for purely the fighting, He loved to fight. He loved to compete and most importantly he loved taking on new challenges.
You were always known for that mean attitude when competing. Anyone, anywhere, anytime. The real bite down on the mouthpiece and fight type
of grind. Was that installed in you from the very start of your career and love for fighting?
Pickett – “Well to be honest, I felt my grittiness along with my heart and passion came from my crazy competitive streak and not wanting to lose in front of anyone. It wasn’t in a malicious way but don’t get me wrong fighting is fighting. I always said when fighting, I didn’t hate what was in front of me I loved what was behind me like my friends and family. So that’s really what spurred me on. I was super competitive as a kid growing up, my main sports were football, cricket and stuff like that so I was highly competitive in sports as a whole and that continued into the cage. I didn’t want anyone to beat me.”
How hard was it for you to finally put that hat down and call it a day in the sport and step away from competing? Was there a moment where you can pinpoint in your career that you considered retirement?
Pickett – “Well it wasn’t a decision I made lightly and I already said I was super competitive and all I wanted to be was number one in the world. So when I was
competing firstly, I wanted to be number one in the UK, I achieved that. Then I wanted to be number one in Europe, I then achieved that, Then I wanted to get signed by a big organization which back then was the WEC, then my target was to reach the top 10 which I did. Then we move from the WEC to the UFC and then I wanted to be top-five and I achieved that. I always tried to get to number 1.
I had quite a few title eliminator fights but I kept falling over at the final hurdle really. Basically, when I kept falling over the final hurdle at Bantamweight I decided to then go down to flyweight where I had a win over the Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson and in my eyes it wasn’t easy going down to 135 but I had motivation there to yet again try and be number one in the world.
When I went down the weight class it didn’t really suit me that sort of style. Everyone was fast and too quick, they would punch then run away, punch then run away. It didn’t suit me so when I lost a split decision to Chico Camus for me my aspirations at that weight class diminished then I moved back up to Bantamweight and that’s when it went weird for me as it became a job for me instead of me pursuing to be number one in the world and I didn’t have that edge of wanting to be number 1. I remember I started fading in a few more of my fights, getting rocked were back in that day I’d eat that stuff.
For me, the pinpoint moment is when I took on Alcantara in Manchester. It as such a long training camp, I was away from my family for such a long time and the fight had got put back. It was on live PPV in England in 4 in the morning and the whole lead up to it sucked. I didn’t enjoy it. Then the fight, I didn’t even get to throw a punch. I didn’t enjoy it and then I thought next time I’m going to fight in London, I’m going to retire.”
Fans still love to see you still involved in the sport in the coaching aspect of things. What does the coaching side of the game mean to you and for you to be in the likes of Nathanial Woods corner and see him progress in his career?
Pickett – “So I was coaching a lot while I was still competing towards the back end of my career. I always wanted to help the younger generation through and I took Nathanial under my wing while still competing and the natural progression for me was to go into coaching. I had a good passion for it and it now feels like I’m competing through my athletes and I have some real talented youngsters and obviously Nathaniel being at the forth front of that.
He’s doing really well at the moment, such a young hungry guy at only 26. I always say to him how lucky he is, as I didn’t start in the sport until I was 26 and look at what he has done and achieved already so I’m excited to see what the future holds for him.”
You’ve fought so much tough competition over the years. Some big stars including wins over Demetrious Johnson, who many believe is the greatest of all time personally. For you, what stands out as your greatest achievement as an athlete? Who gave you the toughest fight?
Pickett – “So basically, I’ve been asked this a few times. There are a couple of milestones I wanted to achieve. One of those was wanting to fight in Las Vegas with it being the fight capital of the world. I made my WEC debut there and I won by a very rare submission and that always has a massive memory in my head and another was when I fought in England vs Yves Jabouin, obviously having a name like ‘One Punch’ you need to live up to it once and a while and I landed a beautiful uppercut knocking him out.
So when you talk about competition, yes I’ve beaten Demetrious Johnson and people want to talk about that and who’s been my toughest fight but it’s not DJ, if you go and watch that fight back I actually won that pretty convincingly and I didn’t find it too hard. The fights I enjoyed were the back and forth slugfests that I was involved in. Some I won, some I lost.”
You signed a deal to fight under bare knuckle boxing. What was the process behind wanting to compete again and under a whole different rule set and brutality?
Pickett – “Basically for me, there was a few things. Obviously after I retired I was offered to do some BKB and I thought to myself why not. I like to class myself as a good businessman as well as a fighter and this is how I saw it. It was so easy in my eyes to train for a boxing match because all you need to do is run, hit pads and do a bit of sparing and with my crazy busy schedule it was easy to fit that sort of training in as well as being easier on my body not having to grapple and wrestle.”
How different was it preparing and getting ready for the BKB bout compared to MMA. It must have a unique affect physically and mentally in preperation for battle?
Pickett – “So the difference with MMA and BKB is obviously the training camps for MMA are so much tougher on your body and harder and sometimes you may not
make it to the fight. However, with Bareknuckle boxing depending on how the fight goes, that could be really detrimental to your health too so that’s always the interesting thing between the two sports.
Also, the story behind it is when I first started getting into fighting, my mum always said I would get that from my grandad. He died when I was four so I didn’t really get to know him and I remember looking at him and he used to wear a trilby hat and some braces so that’s why throughout my whole fighting career I wore a trilby hat and braces just to pay some tribute to my grandad. So I thought it would be a great story and closure to end it with a bare-knuckle boxing match.”
“One big thing mentally is putting myself back out there with a chance of getting embarrassed which is very nerve-wracking. Towards the end of the year, I was losing fights to guys I believe I should beat. Mentally it was tough going into the fight and that was the main mental point I had. In terms of the fight, if you watch my fights, nobody would predict for me to be in a fight and not get hit which was mental so for me, I’m always one of those people who get myself into a fight. I can get myself into a fight with the best guy in the world or I could fight the postman and someone always get myself into a fight.”
Make sure to check out Brad Pickett’s social media accounts.
- Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/OnePunchPickett/
- Twitter – https://twitter.com/one_punch
- Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/one_punch/
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