Brad Pickett feels drop to flyweight is his route to UFC gold

USA TODAY Sports

Brad Pickett will make his flyweight debut on Saturday against Neil Seery. According to Pickett he didn't undertake this 'lifestyle change' just for fun, he wants to become a UFC champion

Brad Pickett made his bantamweight debut in December 2009, defeating Kyle Dietz by submission in the second round of that fight. All told, Pickett's record at 135 pounds stands at 6-4. During his run with the WEC and more recently the UFC, Pickett has racked up seven Fight Night bonuses. He's also currently ranked No. 6 in the bantamweight division. On Saturday, he will put that all behind him when he starts a new chapter in his MMA career and drops 10 pounds and debuts in the flyweight division.

Pickett spoke to Sherdog.com about his first fight at 125 pounds, and he said that the drop to the new division has not been enjoyable, "It's been tough," Pickett said. "I'm not going to sugarcoat anything. It's been a lifestyle change."

That lifestyle change was not something that Pickett undertook on a whim. There is a reason the 35-year-old Englishman decided to drop to flyweight after nearly 10 years as a professional fighter, and that reason is UFC gold.

Pickett (23-8) elaborated, "I'm not doing this just for the sake of doing it. There's a light at the end of the tunnel. I want to be world champion, and this is my route to it. I wouldn't do this if I wasn't looking at the end goal."

With a 3-3 record in the bantamweight division, Pickett realized that his chances of ever getting a shot at the title in that weight division were slim. After all, each time he fought a fighter ranked higher than him in the division he came out on the losing end. During his bantamweight run with the UFC, Pickett was submitted by Michael McDonald and current UFC champion Renan Barao. He also dropped a split decision to Eddie Wineland.

On Saturday, he'll start down the road toward realizing his goal of becoming a champion. Pickett was originally slated to meet No. 3 ranked Ian McCall, but an injury forced McCall from the fight. Instead, Pickett will meet UFC newcomer, and former Cage Warriors Fighting Championship flyweight champion Neil Seery (13-9).

Pickett admitted that he doesn't know all that much about his opponent, but stressed that he is not taking the fight lightly or looking past Seery, despite having his eye on Demetrious Johnson's UFC flyweight title.

If Pickett does make his mark on the flyweight division, and Johnson continues to hold the flyweight title, a bout between the two would not be their first meeting. That took place at WEC 48, and Pickett walked away with a unanimous decision win in the bantamweight contest.

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