Following his recent loss to Urijah Faber at UFC on FOX 21 in Sacramento earlier this month, Brad Pickett has opened up about his mindsight heading into the fight and his feelings following the unanimous decision loss.
During the most recent episode of the One Punch podcast, a show where Pickett hosts alongside Bryan Lacey, Pickett spoke for the first time since the loss and did not hold anything back.
“People who do not fight may not realise, the fight game is 90% mental and 10% physical and throughout my career, I have always thought of myself as a very mentally tough person but I will be honest, I have been struggling of late.”
“Winning fight’s breeds confidence. Back in the day, if you lost a fight you could go away, fight some lesser competition, pick up a few good wins and bring your confidence back up. But you can’t do that now in the UFC, you are fighting the who’s who every fight. ”
Since losing to Thomas Almeida at UFC 189 by knockout, caution during his fights is something that Pickett sees as a major issue in his game.
“Confidence going into certain fights is weird, going into the Faber fight, there was nothing in that fight that I thought oh my god this guy is a different level, I can’t handle his grappling, but when I was fighting, I was so cautious, since being knocked out, I have been cautious and not being aggressive in my approach. All I am doing is defending what he is doing, I am not mounting any offence. I am just being a passenger on his rollercoaster, I would much rather be in the driving seat.”
Moving onto what is next, Pickett would like to go out in the same way as Faber, in his hometown, with a win.
“I’m looking to get on the London card in March, it’s been in the back of my head, but I want to do what Urijah Faber did and retire in [my] hometown,” Pickett said. “That’s what I really want to do. Now it’s time. I’m not doing myself justice, and I don’t want to be in the sport just to make up numbers. I love my job, but everything has to come to an end at some point, so I’d rather do it now while I can talk to my son, so I’d rather retire in the O2 in March next year in my hometown.”
“The reason why [I’d] do it then — I’d fight later on that year if I have to — but they are going to London and that’s where I’m from. I owe it to myself to retire in my hometown. That’s where I started fighting and they only go to London once a year so for me I wouldn’t want to wait another year. I don’t have it in my age or in my body for another year to pass. I want to get in on this March card and hand in my gloves and pursue other ventures you know.”
Pickett, who has earned five post-fight bonuses in the UFC is an icon on the UK MMA scene, with himself and current UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping leading the way for all of the MMA fighters coming up today in the region.
And who would begrudge Pickett one final win in London to cap off a stellar career?