Brad Pickett on Ian McCall: “I’m here for one reason and that is to get a title shot”
Tonight Brad Pickett fights Ian McCall at UFC Fight Night: McGregor vs. Brandao. Since entering the UFC 24-8 Pickett has gone 4-2 in the Octagon with this being Pickett’s second fight at flyweight, his first being a unanimous decision over Neil Seery at UFC Fight Night: Gustafsson vs. Manuwa in March. Pickett notably already has a win over current UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson from WEC at bantamweight, a fight Pickett won by unanimous decision at WEC 48 in April 2010.
ADCC: You are preparing to return to the UFC at flyweight…
BP: Yeah, second time at flyweight.
ADCC: What are your thoughts on your opponent?
BP: I’m fighting Ian McCall in Ireland. I was supposed to fight him back in March at the O2 (London). Unfortunately he was injured and I had a late replacement Neil Seery and beat him. I really wanted this fight so it has been rematched up.
ADCC: How do you feel about that successful debut at flyweight?
BP: For me it was more about making the weight. I’ve done that now, now it is about putting in a better performance. I got the win but for me I didn’t perform as well as I would have liked to have done. I do set high standards of myself. There is no disrespect to Neil Serry, he is a tough competitor, but I didn’t perform too well. I’m here for one reason and that is to get a title shot. If I slip up against Ian McCall I’ll go back up to bantamweight. It all depends on how this fight goes.
ADCC: The decision was yours to cut down to flyweight?
BP: It was 100% mine. After my last fight at bantamweight against Michael McDonald I was getting a little annoyed where a lot of people fighting at bantamweight are a little rangier on me, I’m always the shorter guy. I didn’t think I was the biggest bantamweight anymore. I look at other bantamweights like Renan Barao who I fought and they are getting big!
ADCC: BJ Penn recently retired at 35. At the post-fight press conference Dana White said MMA is a young man’s sport. You are also 35. How do you feel about that age prejudice and where you are in your career?
BP: Age is a number. It depends how your body feels and if you’ve had injuries. My age won’t retire me, my body will retire me. I watched that fight with BJ Penn, he was a shadow of his former self and it was kind of hard to watch. I’d like to think I won’t be like that. At my weight class speed is a massive key and when you do get older you do lose a bit of speed. I was never the fastest guy in the world but I have good timing. When I fought Demetrious Johnson back in WEC I was nowhere near as quick as him, I beat him that night because I had good timing. My timing is still good and I’m tough as nails.