Although fighting in his part of the world, Brit Brad Pickett wasn't exactly in friendly territory when he stepped in the Octagon across from American Ian “Uncle Creepy” McCall on Saturday at UFC Fight Night 46 in Dublin, Ireland, both men looking to build some momentum.
McCall is an established flyweight that stalled in the UFC after losing to current champion Demetrious Johnson and top contender Joseph Benavidez before winning his most recent bout.
Pickett is a former bantamweight who holds a win over Johnson. He was successful in his recent flyweight debut, besting Neil Seery, and is trying to position for himself for a title shot.
Both men came out firing, but with starkly different styles. Pickett looked to establish his more traditional boxing style from the opening, while McCall came out bouncing on the balls of his feet, lunging in and out range with his punches.
It was a close opening round, although McCall seemed to land more damaging blows than Pickett, despite a furious closing 30 seconds that saw both men land some heavy shots.
McCall shifted gears just a bit in the second, darting in and trying harder for takedowns. He managed to trip Pickett to the mat early in the round and quickly moved to full mount, but he couldn’t do much with it before Pickett escaped.
Back on their feet, Pickett gave a good accounting of himself with his boxing, keeping it an extremely close fight after two rounds.
Pickett came out in the final frame pressing forward, trying to take the fight to McCall, but Uncle Creepy shifted gears yet again and planted several kicks to the chin and body that rocked Pickett.
In the closing couple of minutes, McCall scored a huge double-leg takedown. He quickly transitioned from half guard to full mount before Pickett regained the half guard, but McCall maintained control, peppering Pickett with ground and pound for the remainder of the fight.
After 15 minutes of non-stop action, McCall earned a unanimous nod from the judges, and wasted no time refocusing his aim on Johnson and the UFC flyweight belt.
“Demetrious, I’m gonna come get you. Last time, I laid you out on the mat, so sensual,” said McCall, although he knows that fight isn’t likely next for him.
“Demetrious already has a fight, so I’ll fight anyone else, I don’t care who.”
With victory over Pickett, McCall improved his overall record to 12-4-1.
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