Brad Pickett's drop to 125 lbs has been known for quite some time, but we now know who his first opponent will be in what is his 4th different weight class. On tonight's episode of Beyond the Octagon, an MMA program on BT Sport in the UK, it was revealed that the Brit will take on Ian McCall on March 8th at UFC Fight Night 37 in London.
Pickett (23-8) is easily one of the most exciting fighters on the UFC roster, and in just 5 fights with the promotion he's won FOTN an astonishing 4 times. His 2013 saw him win both FOTN and a split decision over Mike Easton, which set him up for a big match-up against Michael McDonald in Boston this past August. Pickett again won FOTN, but was otherwise dominated and ultimately submitted in the 2nd round. With 4 losses (dating back to his days in the WEC) against the cream of the crop, Pickett confirmed his drop to flyweight earlier this fall, and perhaps it's best to note that he does hold a WEC bantamweight win over current divisional champion Demetrious Johnson.
McCall (12-4-1) has been hailed as one of the top flyweights in the world, but after 3 fights in the UFC he found himself a combined 0-2-1 against Demetrious Johnson and Joseph Benavidez. "Uncle Creepy" finally found his footing against Iliarde Santos, winning FOTN honors at UFC 163 and a unanimous decision. Prior to joining the UFC, McCall notched wins over Jussier Formiga, Darrell Montague, and Dustin Ortiz, all of whom are in the UFC today. McCall was scheduled to welcome Scott Jorgensen to flyweight at UFC on Fox 9, but pulled out after suffering a broken hand.
This is just a fantastic fight and great matchmaking by Sean Shelby. I would be shocked if this bout was anything less than thrilling, and from the standpoint of "rankings" it's a good way of determining where Pickett stands at 125 lbs and whether McCall himself can start up another winning streak.
UFC Fight Night 37 is headlined by a light heavyweight bout between Alexander Gustafsson and Jimi Manuwa. The card will be broadcast live on the UFC's new online subscription service.