Fighting in your own backyard can be a special feeling. In February, London’s Brad Pickett (25-11) got back to winning ways after a trifecta of shortcomings. In the second half of the year, Brad finds himself again on home soil as he tries to make it two in a row versus Iuri Alcantara (32-7).
Brad recalls his bout in London, in which was a massive weight off the shoulders of the former. With confidence restored and retirement rumours put to bed, Saturday is a much easier occasion to look forward to.
“I love fighting at home,” beamed Pickett. “Most of the fights in my career have taken place here in England. I travel over to America to train, but for the most part there’s nothing like being in my home country come fight night. The whole thing with comfortable surroundings really helps.”
“The relief to get that win in London was massive. I felt I had a massive weight on my shoulders going into that fight. I always have pressure on me and I’m sure I’ll have pressure on me on Saturday too. I love the pressure, but February was different. I had so much weight on my shoulders.
“The rumours really bothered me last time. First things first, I’m a long way done in this sport. Win, lose or draw I’m not going anywhere.”
The bantamweight has seen his share of ups and downs inside the UFC. However, his position is one that he doesn’t lose sleep over. The constant grind and chance to fight prospects is a challenge that Pickett relishes.
“I’m happy with my current positioning,” ‘One Punch, told.” I don’t look at myself like a gatekeeper, but I don’t see that word as derogatory. The way I see it, I’m a test for these young guys. I mean, you look at this card, two guys who were once called gatekeepers are headlining the show and one of them is champion.
“It gives me inspiration to see them succeeding late into their careers and I know I can do the same. It’s a credit to myself to see how I’m hanging in there. You see, I’m not getting badly hurt and have only recently been knocked out for the first time in my career. I still see myself having plenty of miles left in the tank.”
Over the last year, Brad has made somewhat of a transition into the world of fight promotion with Rise of Champions, based in South England. Enduring a fight camp while building each and every show has been challenging aspect, but one Brad sees spanning long into time following his fight career. It’s an outlet with a growing reputation and this excites the Londoner.
“I’m starting to manage fighting and promoting well now,” Brad confessed. “I have a great team behind me who help the shows run smoothly when I have a fight to prepare for and they always deliver. At first it was a tough adjustment but things are panning out well and Rise of Champions is really starting to take off.”