• UFC Fight Night London Preview: Brad Pickett vs. Neil Seery

  • UFC Fight Night 37 poster 226x300 UFC Fight Night London Preview: Brad Pickett vs. Neil SeeryThe UFC returns to The O2 arena this Saturday with it’s main event featuring London’s own Jimi Manuwa facing off against former title challenger Alexander Gustafsson.

    However, Manuwa is not the only British hope on the fight card. In fact, there will be the usual parade of the UK’s finest on show with Phil Harris opening the show before TUF runner up Davey Grant, Brad Scott and Luke Barnatt all take to the cage.

    Elsewhere on the main card, another Londoner will be looking to give his home crowd something to cheer about. Longtime fan favourite, Brad Pickett will be making his first appearance at Flyweight in his first fight back in London since capturing the Ultimate Challenge Featherweight title back in 2009.

    Initially Pickett was expected to face off against UFC veteran Ian McCall, but with ”Uncle Creepy” forced to withdraw in early February, it opened up an opportunity for Neil Seery to make his UFC debut.

    Seery will be well known to many UK MMA fans having fought regularly for Cage Warriors over the last few years. Now is perhaps the pefect time for Seery to make the jump into the UFC given that he is currently riding a four fight win streak, which could provide the confidence he will need to upset the home town favourite.

    The odds will be heavily in favour of Pickett without question and rightly so given his previous wins against the likes of Mike Easton, Yves Jabouin and even Demetrious Johnson once upon a time.

    However, as he looks to enter a new weight division there is always going to be an element of uncertainty as to how his body will perform at the new weight. One thing that Pickett has to draw on is the experience of changing weight classes before, Pickett has fought at Lightweight, Featherweight, Bantamweight and is now (if all goes well this week) set to fight at Flyweight.

    On paper, this experience in the Flyweight division is perhaps the only advantage that Seery has over Pickett. Seery whilst not feeling at home in the UFC just yet, will undoubtedly feel at home in the weight class which could give him the relaxed mentality to really show his skills against the highly touted Pickett.

    In the past even Dana White has openly applauded Brad Pickett for his style of fighting and you wouldn’t expect Seery to be too dissimilar in his approach either. During his time in Cage Warriors, Seery has often been the aggressor in his fights and looks to take the fight to his opponent, rather than being too careful with his attacks.

    Whilst the odds may be unfavourable for Seery to get his win bonus against Pickett, the odds for him picking up a bonus for “Fight of the Night” will be much more attractive. This fight promises to be high octane from the start with both fighters looking to meet head on in the centre of the cage.

    Overall, some may view it as the UFC’s way of keeping one of their most marketable British stars relevant by bringing in a debuting Seery, but that would do Seery’s experience a disservice to this point.

    Whilst Seery is a newcomer to the UFC, he is vastly experienced when it comes to MMA and if he is to lose as many expect on Saturday night, it won’t be for a lack of trying or be because of nerves. It will simply be because Pickett is the better fighter and will justify his tag as a British title hope in the short term.

    About The Author – Greg Byron

    Greg started training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu after his brother introduced him to a local MMA fighter/coach when he was just 16 years old. Greg has trained for nearly a decade in both BJJ and MMA, competing in several grappling events within the UK. In addition to MMA, Greg possesses a law degree and works for a firm in northern part of England.

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