Why Brad Pickett Could Ruin Faber’s Farewell Party

'Platinum' Mike Perry

'Platinum' Mike Perry

This card is one of the better non-PPV lineups out there, and while there isn’t a special star vs. star matchup like the Tony Ferguson vs. Rafael Dos Anjos fight of recent, there are four very entertaining fights that all hold engaging narratives. We’ll first look at Urijah Faber’s retirement fight against Brad Pickett before breaking down the likely brawl between Alan Jouban vs. ‘Platinum’ Mike Perry.

Urijah Faber vs. Brad Pickett

The ‘California Kid’ is no longer the youthful force he once was and has now chosen to hang up the gloves after one closing fight in the UFC. Urijah Faber will square off against Brad Pickett in Sacramento – expect a warm reception for Faber in his hometown!

Urijah Faber is coming off a difficult fight against Jimmy Rivera who controlled almost every aspect of the contest, an outcome which possibly made Faber realise his athleticism isn’t enough to keep up with the next generation of fighters. However, against the also ageing Brad Pickett, Faber’s athleticism and strength are once again determining factors in this fight, making me believe he could be too much for Pickett to handle.

Faber, for some reason, has elected to stand during his past couple of fights, especially the Rivera one in which he didn’t even come close to taking him down. A pure stand-up battle would suit Pickett entirely. Brad ‘One Punch’ Pickett has excellent boxing technique and has worked tirelessly on improving his grappling and wrestling over the years. While Faber will be too good for him if it goes to the ground, I think Pickett can out-strike Faber standing up, especially with his counter punching as Faber moves in – something Rivera was able to do continuously.

It makes sense to me that Faber is the favourite going into this one. He’s fighting his last fight in his hometown, and he’ll be fired up. On paper, he’s also the much better fighter. However, I don’t agree that Faber should be as heavy of a favourite as he is and I think that these odds have somewhat disrespected Brad Pickett. Pickett is a guy who is potentially fighting in his last fight as well, so there’s every reason for him to come out firing and leave the UFC with a spectacular upset. I can’t take Faber at these odds; they’re just too short and in a complete swing against popular opinion I think that Pickett is of excellent value at these odds.

Brad Pickett by Decision
Odds:  +700   –  Skybet


 

Alan Jouban vs. Mike Perry

Last weekend we witnessed one of the best fights of the year – Doo Ho Choi vs. Cub Swanson. I’m more than comfortable making the claim that this battle between Alan Jouban and Mike Perry could be just as good. Mike Perry and Alan Jouban both love scrapping it out with their opponent and have shown plenty of heart and determination in their careers so far – there’s almost no way this fight goes to the judges.

‘Platinum’ Mike Perry bounced into the scene in August after his brutal KO of Hyun Gyu Lim in which he entered the fight as a significant underdog. His wild personality and aggressive fighting style have seen him become a cult favorite and everyone is watching his next move. I’ve faded Mike Perry in his first two fights because of his poor defence and lack of technical ability, but after being burned twice, it’s time for me to start respecting the guy for what he is. Despite his limited arsenal and incredibly strange personality, he always comes to fight and will power through an opponent with high volumes of striking and sheer hostility.

Alan Jouban will be entering the octagon for the eighth time this weekend, with a record of 5-2 so far. His losses came via stoppage against the talented striker Albert Tumenov in 2015, and a decision loss against Warlley Alves back in 2014. Jouban has a Thai fighting background and likes to incorporate elbows and knees into his close-range striking. With experience in Thai, his clinch game is stronger than most, and his knees will be especially dangerous against the smaller Mike Perry. Jouban’s primary opportunity in this fight is when Mike Perry closes into boxing distance, as he likes to do, because Jouban should be looking to land crisp elbows. Perry’s defence is extremely questionable, so I see Alan’s strikes landing cleanly in this range.

Once again, I’m finding it easy to bet against Perry here because Jouban is technically the better fighter, but Perry could easily bait Jouban into a complete brawl, and that wipes out any and all technique. While Jouban is excellent with his Thai fighting in close, particularly his elbows, there’s a fair chance that he gets brought down to the scrappy level that Mike Perry loves, wants and needs. This fight could seriously go either way, and the only outcome I’m confident of is that there will be a stoppage sooner than later.

Total Rounds – Under 1.5
Odds:  +100   –  Bet365


Tips Summary

Urijah Faber vs. Brad Pickett
Brad Pickett by Decision
Sunday 18th December, 01:40 GMT
Odds:  +700   –  Skybet

Alan Jouban vs. Mike Perry
Total Rounds – Under 1.5
Sunday 18th December, 01:10 GMT
Odds:  +100   –  Bet365