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Brad Pickett.

Brad Pickett: This Will Come Down To Who's More Durable

Brad Pickett talks to Dan Lloyd about his upcoming bout with Michael McDonald, which will feature on UFC On Fox Sports 1.

Author: Dan Lloyd (@DRL_1990)


Brad 'One Punch' Pickett (23-7) is one of the finest MMA exports ever to come from the UK, and his high status in the UFC's rankings reiterates his level, and just how close he is to the top at 135lbs.

Setbacks in title contention fights have only served to motivate Pickett more, and now he gets a matchup that could propel him right back into the mix, within touching distance of the gold.

Pickett will meet knockout specialist Michael 'Mayday' McDonald (15-2) in a much anticipated feature at UFC On Fox Sports 1 in August. Both men are known for their exciting, aggressive styles, and there was universal applaud for the matchmaking when it was announced.

Our man Dan Lloyd managed to catch up with 'One Punch' to get his thoughts on the matchup, the status of the bantamweight division and more.

YourMMA.tv: Hey Brad, how are you doing today?

Brad Pickett: I'm well mate, thanks for asking.

YourMMA.tv: Fantastic. So let's jump right in. Your next fight will be against Michael McDonald, a fight you called for after your win against Mike Easton back in Sweden. What made you ask for this fight in particular?

BP: For me personally, I've had quite a few tough fights within the UFC, and I've had quite a few fights with people ranked below me, so to fight somebody like Michael McDonald who is ranked higher than me, it's a chance to climb the ladder because. For instance, when I fought Mike Easton, he was number 9 and I was number 5, so while it was a good fight, it didn't move me up in the rankings really.

YourMMA.tv: McDonald has been in top form with his fights, losing for the first time in four years back in February against Renan Barao. Do you think this fight is one of the more dangerous ones that you could have picked in the bantamweight division, seeing as though he does have a penchant for finishing fights?

BP: Anyone in the bantamweight division will be a tough fight. Stylistically, I believe it is a good match up for me though. We're both hard hitting fighters, so it will be based on who's more durable, and I believe I have the better chin out of the two of us, so that works in my favour. Also, in my eyes, I've fought much harder competition. McDonald's only really tough fight was Renan Barao. The rest of the people he has faced, I would easily beat the same opposition.

YourMMA.tv: Speaking of Barao, what do you think his chances are against returning champion Dominick Cruz?

BP: Dominick is a very hard fight, and if this was before Barao would have very little chance, but due to the injuries he's suffered and how long he's been out, it will be a very hard match to return to for Cruz. Cruz is very good at winning points in his fights though. Barao has been much more dangerous recently, and his confidence will have risen with all his recent wins. With Barao in good form, winning consistently, Cruz will have a lot of trouble. If both were fighting regularly, I'd choose Cruz.

YourMMA.tv: Obviously, the debut event of UFC on Fox Sports 1 is quite a stacked card, featuring another bantamweight match between Urijah Faber and Yuri Alcantara. Do you believe that a win in this fight would catapult you ahead of Urijah and straight into a title shot, or could it be that the winner of these two matches will face off for the title shot later this year?

BP: It depends. Due to the injuries in the division at the moment, it's messed up. I would have though the win here would put me next in line, but with Cruz injured for so long, and then Barao getting injured before his match with Eddie Wineland, it's holding up the division. Urijah though is a fantastic fighter, but I personally feel that the UFC would rather promote new fighters for a title shot.

The bantamweight division is very diverse at the moment, and there are a lot of people at the top of the division. Urijah is more than worthy, but I feel like the UFC would push to have someone new fight for a title, as the audience would prefer fresh faces, and Urijah has already fought twice for the title while being in the UFC.

YourMMA.tv: Another fight on this card is the England vs. Ireland grudge match between Andy Ogle and Conor McGregor. With a rise in UK talent over recent years, who do you believe will be next to sign for the UFC from our shores?

BP: Hard to say, I don't know everybody. When I was on the UK scene I knew everybody around, but right now I could only think of a few people within my training camp. I can't comment on people I haven't heard of. Bola Omoyele and Ashleigh Grimshaw would be the two that I could see going to the UFC next, both exciting fighters who bring something different.

YourMMA.tv: Do you believe that a move to flyweight might be a possibility in the future for you, seeing as you already hold a win over flyweight champion Demitrious Johnson?

BP: Yes and no. I could make the weight, but I'd have to change my body to do so. I'd have to lose muscle mass to be able to reach 125 lbs. And if I made the cut, would I be same fighter? It's hard to tell how much it would affect me as a fighter. I have no real need to be that small at the moment. Right now, I'm a good weight for 135, and it's going well for me at the moment.

The guys in the flyweight division are very quick, so if I made the cut I might lose some punching power, but they'd be hard for me to hit as they're so fast. It may be a possibility, but that would be in the future, not right now. Also, don't forget, I'm getting older now, so I don't know what effects it would have on my body. Right now, I'm walking around 25 lbs over my weight class, so to cut an extra 10 lbs on top would be hard, and I'm a pretty small guy as it is.

YourMMA.tv: What is your favourite arena to fight in and why?

BP: I've never really had favourite arena, seeing as I've not fought in them all. But going by past experience, one of my favourites would have to be the Globe Arena in Sweden. I have two good wins there, against Damacio Page and Mike Easton. I've also fought in the LA Coliseum for a K-1 fight, which was the biggest arena I've ever fought in.

YourMMA.tv: One of your biggest pasttimes when you aren't at the gym is playing video games. What do you make of the recent announcements for the upcoming PS4 and Xbox One consoles?

BP: I'm excited. As a gamer, we're always looking forward to the next generation of consoles. Of course, we all have high expectations for these consoles to live up to. For me, I'd choose the PS4. I didn't get the last Xbox mainly because you could play blu-rays on the PS3. Also, PlayStations are much better eye candy-wise, the Xbox always looks ugly.

Most of the games will be on both consoles, but I feel PS4 has some better exclusives and also on PS4 you can lend your friends your games, which you can't do on the Xbox One. It's so stupid to have a console where you have to buy all the games just to try it out. In my opinion, they've shot themselves in the foot with that one. Another thing is, there's a huge price difference too, it doesn't matter that much to me obviously, but it will to a lot of other people.

YourMMA.tv: Brad, it's been a pleasure talking to you, I wish you all the best with your upcoming training camp, and good luck for the fight in Boston!

UFC On Fox Sports 1: Shogun vs. Sonnen takes place on August 17th at TD Garden Boston, Massachusetts and the card is already looking stacked. Stay tuned to www.facebook.com/YourMMA and @YourMMA on Twitter for more coverage.

Credit to Josh Campbell (@23JoshCampbell), Viren Samani (@VirenSamani1), and Apurva Modessa (@ApurvaModessa).


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