UFC Fight Night: Gustafsson vs. Manuwa - Brad Pickett vs. Neil Seery preview and the prognostication

Can Pickett avoid getting corkscrewed against Neil Seery? - Photo by Esther Lin of MMA Fighting

Flyweights Brad Pickett and Neil Seery collide for UFC Fight Night 37 in a bout that will provide all kinds of crimson tinted sparks.

Brad Pickett vs. Neil Seery Flyweight

When we last left our heroes...Pickett's UFC journey has been more erratic than disappointing. Just look at Esther Lin's photo up top. A BE reader once remarked that said punch turned him into Matt Riddle, but luckily for Brad, he hasn't been spending too much time with Nick Diaz to have his recent wins overturned.

Nonetheless, for a guy who began his Zuffa career with a win over Demetrious Johnson, he's had more downs than ups. Right now he's 6-4 under Zuffa's WEC/UFC banner. To be fair, there's nothing embarrassing about his record. He lost to Scott Jorgensen, Renan Barao, Eddie Wineland, and Michael McDonald. And now he's attempting a potentially reasonable drop to Flyweight.

But my problem with Pickett's development is that rather than use his entire arsenal (an arsenal that was on display against Mighty Mouse where he constantly mixed his striking with his wrestling/grappling), he's resorted to a just bleed style of offense. There's no more nuance to his game; in its place is a violent attempt to win that good ole' FOTN bonus money.

I don't blame him. But I do think he's better than what his record indicates, though at 35 years of age, his window may or may not have closed.

Across from him sits and stands his philosophical doppelganger.

Seery has made a name for himself in the Cage Warriors promotion. Though the Irishman has fought a lot of bantamweight and featherweight, he has found a home for himself at flyweight, going 6-1 since dropping to what he feels like is his natural weight.

Seery is a late replacement for Ian McCall. While that fight was better for the division, this bout will prove to be just fine as a white knuckle exchange of violent meat soothers.

What both men can do: Seery is a decent fighter with a deceiving record. While I don't think his style will translate well into FW with all the swiss army knives in the division, he is a good scrapper. His greatest strength is what he does on the feet.

He doesn't have a ton of striking finishes (6 of his 13 wins are by TKO/KO, which is still good), but he packs moderate power in a constantly moving frame. His combinations are sharp, and crisp with equal power in both his right and left hand. He does an effective job of throwing combinations without becoming too rote. He'll lunge in with haymakers when the mood strikes him, but what keeps him really tough for opponents is his ability to switch stances.

Unlike a lot of strikers who switch stances, Seery excels at being able to accrue offense with it. A lot of guys switch just to switch, either because their normal stance isn't working, or because they're trying to avoid damage in an area that has been repeatedly targeted. Seery is always switching and moving because that's his typical rhythm. It'll be interesting to see how Pickett deals with this.

Pickett, despite his need for wanton violence on the feet, is actually pretty good himself when he settles down, pumps the jab, and throws combinations. He's even better when he's using his boxing to set up takedowns.

Despite how early it was in Johnson's career, Johnson was still an elite talent even at the time they fought. Brad was able to take him down and neutralize him with plain jane top control. Pickett is an underrated grappler who has only been submitted in the UFC because his brain was laying next to the round numbers for the ring girls at the time of being choked.

What both men can't do: However, he has a tendency to reach for his takedowns. If Seery can predict and time Brad's offense, this could be an all out slugfest that Pickett is getting too old to handle. Granted, Seery is only a year younger than Pickett, but Brad has been in some absolutely brutal wars lately.

I can't in good conscience pick Seery though. His all of his strengths, Pickett's grappling will be the difference. Seery has power, but not the kind of power that put Brad into panic mode against a guy like McDonald. Plus his takedown defense is what you'd expect out of a 34 year Brit; which is to say, vulnerable.

I expect a hell of a fight regardless. At least for as long as it lasts on the feet. Once it hits the ground, Pickett should be able to threaten for a submission all night.

X-Factor: Judges won't be an x-factor. Indiscriminate behavior won't be. I guess that leaves the king of the monsters?

In-Fight Soundtrack: I might have selected this song already, but this fight is perfect for it. And it's not like there are any rules with this section. These guys approach fighting like a zero sum game.

Prediction: Brad Pickett by Guillotine, round 3.

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