Ian McCall imposed his will on Brad Pickett for three full rounds to score a decisive unanimous decision victory over the former Cage Rage British Featherweight champion at the undercard of UFC Fight Night 46 in Dublin Ireland.

Next Challenger?

Coming in to the fight, McCall was ranked #3 in the flyweight division while the London born Pickett was ranked #9. The fight between McCall and Pickett had not been finalized when the title bout of Cariaso was made. This caused Brad Pickett to question the UFC’s wisdom to grant the untested #8 ranked flyweight Chris Cariaso a shot at Demetrious Johnson’s UFC Flyweight title at UFC 177.  But after the bout, it was Ian McCall who made a clear case to be the next challenger for the UFC Flyweight belt.

Movement was Key

McCall’s game plan was to stay away from Pickett’s bombs. He used movement to circle around his flat-footed opponent and level him with left hands and body kicks. A minute into the match, both fighters slugged it out in the center of the octagon before they tied up in the fence. Both men continued to box at the fence but it was clear that McCall landed the more telling blows. As the round ended, Pickett managed to land a solid punch that squared McCall.

In the second round, McCall secured several takedown attempts on his opponent although he wasn’t really able to do much damage at the top position. He continued to move around Pickett’s and avoided being hit by heavy punches. It was McCall’s elusiveness and laser sharp striking that gave him the advantage in the second round.

Sensing defeat, Pickett came out swinging in the final round, hoping to land a home run punch. But again, McCall was the one who landed a couple of significant body kicks. And although Pickett was able to cut off the cage late in the third round,  McCall was way ahead in points and cruised his way to victory. The judges scored the bout 30-27,30-27 and 29-28 for McCall who improved his record to 13-4-1 with 4 KOs and 3 submissions.

Going Back to Featherweight

After the bout, a clearly disappointed Pickett said that the loss left him no choice but go back to the featherweight division. Pickett had moved down to flyweight to get a shot at Demetrious Johnson whom he once beat when the two of them fought at the WEC 48 event in 2010. His record dropped to 24-9 with 7 KOs and 10 submissions.

McCall on the other hand, said that the win should give him a third fight with Demetrious Johnson. It can be recalled that McCall and Johnson fought in the semi-finals of the UFC Flyweight tournament in 2012. They fought to a majority draw in the first fight but then Johnson scored a unanimous decision victory in their rematch. Mighty Mouse went on to beat Joseph Benavidez for the UFC flyweight belt.

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