Search

UFC: Brad Pickett never feared London swansong would not go ahead after Henry Briones withdrawal

PUBLISHED: 14:00 18 March 2017

Brad Pickett brought his dog with him to the media day ahead of UFC Fight Night: Manuwa v Anderson

Brad Pickett brought his dog with him to the media day ahead of UFC Fight Night: Manuwa v Anderson

Archant

Ecuador’s Marlon Vera has stepped in at the 11th hour to face ‘One Punch’ in his final fight

Bow boy Brad Pickett bows out of mixed martial arts on Saturday on the UFC Fight Night: Manuwa v Anderson bill at the O2 Arena, but his dream ending so nearly became a nightmare.

The 38-year-old was due to fight Mexico’s Henry Briones in London after two previous bouts between the stars had previously been postponed.

Just last Friday, though, the Mexican was forced to withdraw, leaving a mad scramble to arrange a new opponent for Pickett.

The man known as ‘One Punch’ will now face Ecuadorian Marlon Vera instead, but Pickett insists he never once feared that he would not end his career in the capital this weekend.

Brad Pickett (left) faces off against Marlon Vera on the media day ahead of UFC Fight Night: Manuwa v AndersonBrad Pickett (left) faces off against Marlon Vera on the media day ahead of UFC Fight Night: Manuwa v Anderson

“Honestly, I wasn’t worried one bit,” said the Londoner. “When Briones pulled out, I was like ‘whatever, it’s happened again’.

“It wasn’t a case that I was worried about finding an opponent, I would have fought anyone at any weight class.

“Weight would not have been an issue, I would have said yes to anybody – get a dustman off the street, fine.

“It didn’t matter who was opposite me Saturday night because I have my own job to do.”

Pickett heads into his final fight on the back of two successive defeats against Urijah Faber and Iuri Alcantara.

While the loss to Faber was perhaps expected, with Pickett coming up against one the sport’s pioneers, the Alcantara result was something of a surprise.

And Pickett admits that defeat, which took place in Manchester last October, made him start to think his time was up in mixed marital arts.

“Retiring in London didn’t happen by mistake, I’d planned this for a long time,” added the bantamweight.

“When I fought Alcantara in Manchester, that camp was the worst one I’d had in my life and I hated it.

“I was away from home for so long and I didn’t like the style of the opponent, but I accepted it.

“I’ve lost fights before, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve never lost in that fashion where I never got to do anything.

“It was like after weeks of training, what the hell was that for after that performance?

“In my head, I knew I wanted to retire in my home town. The fight with Faber happened in between, but that was a great opportunity and one I had to snatch.”

Pickett will not be the only east Londoner in action on the card at the O2, with Poplar’s Darren Stewart also in action.

The man known as ‘The Dentist’ is scheduled to face Brazilian Francimar Barroso, who he previously fought in Sao Paulo last year in a match that was controversially declared a no contest.

But Pickett says he is pleased to see that there is so much young British talent coming through the ranks.

“There’s so many young athletic guys coming through now, so if I was any part to do with coming through, I’m happy,” he added.

• Watch UFC Fight Night: Manuwa v Anderson live on BT Sport from 9pm on March 18, or catch the UFC Fight Pass Prelims from 5.30pm.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Romford Sports News

Yesterday, 17:30

Boro defender struck late goal to earn a 3-3 draw against Heybridge Swifts

Yesterday, 16:00

Ned Keating provides player ratings following the 3-1 National League loss at Aldershot Town

Yesterday, 14:30

The latest news from the Hornchurch Supporters’ Association

Yesterday, 12:00

The Shenfield High School student and former Hall Mead pupil spoke with youngsters last week and presented awards

Our West Ham Columnist Tony Cottee sticks by under-pressure keeper Darren Randolph

Yesterday, 11:00

Defender Ishmail hails Boro boss

Yesterday, 09:30

Daggers boss fumes after poor first half costs his team against the Shots

Yesterday, 08:29

Hockey youngsters impress at Essex League finals

Live

Yesterday, 16:37

A policeman is one of five people to have been killed in a major terrorist incident at the Houses of Parliament.

View Live

Breaking News

Yesterday, 16:21

A police officer is believed to have been stabbed at Parliament this afternoon.

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now