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Brad Pickett will leave his gloves in the cage after his bout against Marlon Vera this weekend at UFC Fight Night 107. Pickett has perfectly timed his retirement in line with the UFC’s one visit to London each year and will be sent-off in the best way possible, in front of local fans.
Pickett is coming off Urijah Faber’s retirement fight in which he was dominated by Faber for three rounds and allowed Faber to live his dream farewell to the UFC. This alone is enough motivation to ensure that Pickett gets the sending off that he so desires, that way is surely a decisive victory against Marlon Vera at this weekend’s event.
Brad Pickett hasn’t lived up to the name ‘One-Punch’ of recent, but surely still possesses that extreme power in his hands. With the home crowd behind him in London, he’ll be extra hyped to deliver on one of his renowned knockouts.
Marlon Vera is the man stepping in on short notice after Henry Briones pulled out just ten days before the scheduled fight. For Vera, this fight makes perfect sense, even considering the late notice. If he defeats Brad Pickett, he has claimed a massive scalp on a huge UFC stage in front of many faces around the world – a monster stepping stone for the young 24-year-old from Ecuador.
Vera looks to get scrappy with his opponents and ensure they can’t find a rhythm by continuing to scramble and shift his way around the cage. With this fight and the lack of preparation in handling Brad Pickett, this means that we are unsure of Vera’s longevity past the first round, especially against Pickett who can take over fights with his wrestling ability, too.
Pickett will be looking intensely for the knockout finish this weekend, and this could potentially work against him, especially given the increased emotion that’s associated with both the retirement fight and fighting in London. The problem with Pickett’s boxing is that it often becomes too predictable. For Pickett to defeat Vera, I think it’s going to take great composure and a renewed focus on wrestling and top control over the possibly underprepared Marlon Vera.
If Pickett tries to stand and trade with Vera, which is a huge possibility, this will greatly favour Vera who can then look to impose himself on Pickett with his ‘scrappy’ style of fighting.
I see this one playing out with Vera landing some bombs early and damaging Pickett in Round 1 but Pickett picks himself up for the home crowd and wins round 2 and 3 by controlling the then fatigued Marlon Vera.
Arnold Allen, the 23-year-old from England, is an excellent representation of the next generation of mixed martial artists. Dedicated, technique-focused, and ready for anything in front of him, Allen made a move to Tristar Gym to focus wholly on developing himself and his career in the UFC. The move from his family and country to live and train in Canada is exactly what it takes if you want to become a superstar in this sport.
Allen has put together four wins in a row as a professional, winning both of his two fights in the UFC. His debut resulted in a Performance of the Night award when he submitted Alan Omer in round three of a fight in June 2015. Allen hasn’t entered the cage since February last year when he defeated Yaotzin Meza by unanimous decision, and I’m sure all fans of the UFC can’t wait to see just how much he has improved in these 13 months.
Makwan Amirkhani is the man standing in front of the rising-star this weekend at UFC Fight Night 107 and, like Arnold Allen, has put together a four-win streak as a professional dating back to 2014. Makwan knocked out Andy Ogle in just eight seconds back in January 2015 in what was highly regarded as one of the best knockouts of the year. He then submitted Masio Fullen early in round 1 of their bout in June 2015 and went on to defeat Mike Wilkinson in February 2016 by unanimous decision.
This fight has the potential to be one of the best of the night and will be memorable for the length of each of these fighters careers for good or bad. As much as Arnold Allen seemingly has what it takes to go on and be a future superstar of the sport, he has to get through the tough Makwan Amirkhani first. This is another tough fight to analyse because of the extensive layoffs and potential rapid growth in skills in this time, especially considering Allen has been dedicating his life to training at Tristar at such a young age.
I’m betting Makwan Amirkhani in a close one as he edges Arnold Allen with better composure and experience. This may be the last time Arnold Allen is challenged for a long time.
Brad Pickett v Marlon Vera
Brad Pickett to Win
Saturday 18th March, 19:15 GMT
Odds: 4/5 1.80 -125 0.80 -1.25 0.80 – Betway
Arnold Allen v Makwan Amirkhani
Makwan Amirkhani to Win
Saturday 18th March, 18:45 GMT
Odds: 10/11 1.91 -110 0.91 -1.10 0.91 – Coral