STOCKHOLM – Fans expecting a slugfest instead got a technical and truly entertaining bout as Brad Pickett edged fellow ranked bantamweight Mike Easton.
Pickett used a well-balanced attack, including some timely takedowns and solid ground work, to earn a split-decision victory via 28-29, 30-27 and 30-27 scores.
The bout was part of today’s UFC on FUEL TV 9 main card at Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm. It aired on FUEL TV following prelims on Facebook.
The first round proved evenly matched as both fighters scored takedowns and did damage from the clinch and from range. However, Pickett’s well-balanced attack, effective combos and a late takedown likely stole him the round.
The second round proved much like the first. Easton, who got the edge during the close-quarter fighting, displayed better takedown defense. He also mixed in a takedown of his own. But late in the round, the fighters stood toe to toe to trade power shots, and Pickett landed the cleaner shots, including a few stiff uppercuts, during a rousing exchange.
In the final frame, Pickett’s output didn’t slow a bit. He delivered a steady stream of punches, and though Easton scored a drag-takedown, Pickett reversed it and landed in top position. Easton eventually fought his way back to his feet, but Pickett clung to his back and ultimately scored a slam takedown. Easton returned to his feet, and the bout closed out with another high-output firefight.
He didn’t get the finish, but Pickett picked up a quality win over a top 15 opponent. And though he displayed some new skills, he didn’t stray from his slugging roots.
“I kept it brawling to keep it exciting for you guys,” Pickett, who said he simply wants another tough opponent in his next outing, told the crowd. “My coaches will probably be cursing me and stuff, but you guys made this sport what it is.”
Pickett (23-7 MMA, 3-2 UFC) successfully rebounds from a split-decision loss to Eddie Wineland, which snapped a two-fight UFC win streak. Easton (13-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC), meanwhile, has suffered back-to-back losses following a career-best eight-fight win streak.
Up-to-the-minute UFC on FUEL TV 9 results include:
- Brad Pickett def. Mike Easton via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 30-27)
- Diego Brandao def. Pablo Garza via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 1, 3:27
- Akira Corassani def. Robbie Peralta via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Reza Madadi def. Michael Johnson via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 3, 1:33
- Tor Troeng def. Adam Cella via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 3:11
- Adlan Amagov def. Chris Spang via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Conor McGregor def. Marcus Brimage via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 1:07
- Ryan LaFlare def. Ben Alloway via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Tom Lawlor def. Michael Kuiper via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 2, 1:05
- Papy Abedi def. Besam Yousef via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
For complete coverage of UFC on FUEL TV 9, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site.
(Pictured: Brad Pickett)
John Morgan contributed to this report on-site in Stockholm.