A bout between top flyweights has been rebooked after it fell apart shortly before the UFC's recent London showing.
Ian McCall was all set to face off against Brad Pickett at UFC Fight Night London, when an injury forced him from the card. For McCall, it was his second straight failed booking following an injury leading up to a planned bout the Scott Jorgensen. For Pickett, he ended up facing short notice replacement Neil Seery in what ended up as a surprisingly close contest, from which Pickett narrowly escaped with a win. Now, MMA Fighting reports that the bout will be re-booked for the UFC's upcoming Dublin card on July 19th. The event is rumored to be hosting a fight between Conor McGregor and Cole Miller as well, although no other bouts have been announced.
A few months after the UFC tried to book Brad Pickett vs. Ian McCall in London, the organization is working towards placing the flyweight fight on the upcoming UFC Dublin card later this summer, according to sources with knowledge of the situation. The promotion has yet to officially announce the fight.
For McCall, a bout with Pickett would represent the next stage in his continued drive to prove himself as one of the top contenders at Flyweight. His time as a champion with Tachi Palace fights, as well as a near brush with victory against Demitirious Johnson during the UFC's inagural flyweight title tournament, have left him with a not quite earned reputation as one of the division's elite. He's coming off a solid win over Iliarde Santos, but it's hardly the kind of proving fight he needs to cement is spot in the top 5. A win over Pickett, while still not incredibly meaningfull, would go a lot further to proving that he has what it takes to be a dominant force at 125 lbs.
For Pickett, his time in the UFC seems t be nearing "do or die" territory. As a long time top ten bantamweight, Pickett has never quite made it over the hump and into serious title contention talk. Nevertheless, he does hold a win over the current flyweight champ when they were both at 135 lbs, and a nice win streak could see him leverage that into a grudge match of sorts. However any slip up along the way, and it's likely that Pickett will be releagated to the same kind of top 10 gatekeeper role he found himself in previously.
As that is the matchup and as I see McCall as still very much a top 5 fighter, I don't think this is a fight that Pickett wins. Really they have very similar skill sets; polished dynamic boxing and a surprisingly strong wrestling and grappling game that they mix in liberally. It's just that McCall seems faster, stronger, and just a bit more technical in his standup. He's also prone to getting himself caught in a firefight, though, so I expect opportunities will be available to the Brit if he can stay competitive.