Pickett Primed for FX3 Fight

Mar 13, 2008
As his nickname may suggest, Brad "One Punch" Pickett is a solid punch merchant regarded by many observers as one of the most feared strikers in the featherweight division.

The East London banger intends to prove this point beyond any doubt Saturday in the FX3 promotion against talented French grappling ace Frederic Fernandez (Pictures).

After suffering a pair of disappointing losses in 2007, Pickett bounced back last August by smashing his way though Vaughn Harvey. Looking back on the vicious encounter, Pickett's determination to make up for his losses was all too clear.

"It was very important to me to get back on the winning track," he said. "I didn't care how it came; I just wanted to make sure I won the fight."

Remembered as one of the most entertaining bouts in Cage Rage Contenders history, both Harvey and Pickett landed an array of damaging shots. Pickett then turned up the pressure in the third round and hammered his opponent on the floor to pick up a much-needed win.

Most featherweights would kill for the kind of punching power the cockney fighter wields, but it comes at a price, as Pickett discovered after the fight.

"Sometimes I was hitting him to the body, but he was covering up quite well, so other times I was catching his elbow," Pickett said. "My hands were completely bruised, even straight after the fight."

Victory was sweet for the London fighter after the tough losses he had suffered earlier in the year. The first defeat was a close decision to slick grappler Alex Owen (Pictures) at Cage Rage 21 and the second was an armbar submission to Hideo Tokoro (Pictures) in K-1.

Never content to leave the outcome in the hands of the judges, Pickett is still perturbed by his disappointing loss to Owen.

"Even to this day I think I won that fight," he said. "I thought I won the first two rounds even though they were close, and he won the third round, obviously.

"I was trying to prove a point," Pickett continued. "I was trying to fight him at his own game and prove a point to people who always say I've got a crap ground game and say, ‘Look, I can fight on the ground.' If I did ever fight him again -- which I'd like to -- it would be a completely different fight."

Criticism of his grappling ability led Pickett to travel to Florida to sharpen up his ground game with the American Top Team. However, he quite clearly knows where his strengths lie.

"I'm no scrub on the ground," he said, "but at the end of the day, I still want to be a standup fighter with ground-and-pound."

Unfortunately for Pickett, training at ATT had a pitfall in store for him. He broke his arm late in the year while defending a high kick, and the injury forced him out of his anticipated clash with Trojan representative Ronnie Mann (Pictures) -- a fight that he appears keen for in the coming year.

After spending eight weeks in plaster, though, Pickett has more immediate thoughts on his mind, like the aggressive Frenchman he fights Saturday in the Reading-based FX3 event.

The Londoner considers himself the favorite over Frederic Fernandez (Pictures), but in a buzzing featherweight division he is taking no chances.

"I believe I will be going into this fight as the favorite," Pickett said, "but I ain't gonna take him lightly. I'm going to go in there and impose my will. I know he and his brother Emmanuel are both very good on the ground, so I've got to be careful with submissions and stuff like that, but I'm quite comfortable with him.

"I'm in good shape with my cardio, so I'm going to push the pace, bring the heat basically and see if he can handle it. I'll be coming forward all the time. I plan to stand up and bang, stay off my back, put him on his back and ground-and-pound him."
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