British fighters have done an impressive job of embracing the opportunity to move up the ranks quickly in the UFC.
Dan Hardy, Michael Bisping and former UFC fighter Paul Daley positioned themselves as trash-talking heels and got themselves big fights. They recognized the promotion's need for British stars who could help grow the sport in the U.K. Now that the UFC has added the 135 and 145 pound fighters from the WEC, could Brad Pickett be the next guy who gets himself in the title mix?
The U.K.'s top MMA media personality, Gareth A. Davies, seems to think so.
In UK terms, Brad Pickett, the bantamweight fighter, immediately joins Mike Bisping, Dan Hardy and John Hathaway as an elite UK UFC fighter. Pickett is arguably the third ranked fighter in the division and could challenge for a UFC title in 2011, on the back of two to three wins.
That No. 3 claim is the point that caught my eye. Did we miss something on Pickett's resume? The 32-year-old, who is 2-1 in the WEC, is fighting Ivan Menjivar on the promotion's final card in December. If he loses, isn't there a chance he may be retained for the move over the UFC?
Anyone else have Pickett ranked No. 3 at 135-pounds in the WEC? Off the top of their heads, most casual fans would say Joseph Benavidez, Miguel Torres, Urijah Faber and Brian Bowles round out the top five behind champion Dominick Cruz. There's certainly room to leap up the rankings with some significant wins in 2011, but right now Pickett is only the No. 13 WEC bantamweight according to the USA Today/Bloody Elbow rankings.
Is Davies overrating Pickett? Or is he onto something here? Is the UFC still in dire need of British stars? With the record-setting sellout at UFC 120 in London, we figured the need to aggressively push Brits into big fights was done.
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