A tense flyweight fight between Brad Pickett and Ian McCall at UFC Fight Night: McGregor vs. Brandao in Dublin, Ireland ended with McCall picking up the important win that could be enough to see him in the front of the line in the list of contenders.
In the first round, Pickett pursued the takedowns early but McCall stopped them all. On the feet, McCall avoided getting into a serious slugfest with Pickett, who was more content to box than to use any of his other weapons. The speed advantage was clearly McCall's, who was able to find success with the straight left hand. Pickett scored with single shots and not much in the way of combinations.
McCall scored two takedowns of his own to start the 2nd round, gaining full mount on the 2nd attempt and briefly putting the Englishman in danger. Pickett did well to get back to his feet and resume the striking. McCall scored with a couple of body kicks before straying low, returning the low blow after McCall was hit with one early in the 1st. Pickett consistently came forward and McCall was primarily fighting with his back nearer the cage than the center of the Octagon.
Pickett got the better of a striking exchange in the middle of the 3rd and then went for a trip and briefly had McCall on the ground, but he sprung back up. A big takedown by McCall with 100 seconds left in the round really put Pickett at a massive disadvantage. McCall gained full mount and then worked from half-guard for the remainder of the fight, controlling Pickett from top position and landing some ground shots before Pickett scrambled to his feet at the horn. McCall landed more strikes, particularly body kicks and knees, and his speed frustrated Pickett at times.
Official Result: Ian McCall def. Brad Pickett via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
McCall (13-4-1) gets his 2nd straight UFC win after failing to win his first 3 fights. Pickett (25-9) loses in his 2nd flyweight fight after triumphing over Neil Seery in March. Given the status of the 125 lbs division, McCall's win could be enough to get him a title shot against the Demetrious Johnson vs. Chris Cariaso winner, or at least a #1 contender match-up.