Brad Pickett’s retirement fight didn’t go as he hoped tonight in front of his home fans at UFC Fight Night 107, with Vera leaving it late to land a big head kick that would lead to a TKO stoppage.
Vera feels out witht a leg kick. Right hand misses for Pickett, but a body kick lands for Vera. Again Vera goes for the body kick.
Knee to the body for Vera as Pickett then goes for a takedown and presses his opponent up against the cage. Pickett hoists Vera into the air and slams him to the mat.
Pickett in side control and attempts to take Vera’s back, but his opponent scrambles to his feet.
Back to striking they go and Vera lands a kick and Pickett fires back with two punches. Another leg kick for Vera. Pickett’s counters don’t land this time.
Leg kick and punch for Vera. Pickett lands a hard blow, but Vera takes it.
Another kick for Vera. Both men trade punches. Pickett attempts a leg kick now. Well timed knee for Vera and a long range punch for Pickett.
As Vera comes forward Pickett clocks him with a hook and drops his opponent. Vera back up though and seems ok. He backs Pickett up to the cage and rattles off a few strikes.
Pickett gets away and looks to engage in the center of the cage. Pickett loading up on a punch, but Vera catches him with a big knee to the head.
Vera staying busy here and is landing more frequently than Pickett. He lands a few kicks to the body, but gets caught with a solid counter hook from Pickett.
Leg kick for Vera. Left hook for Pickett just glances his opponent. Vera with a good knee upstairs. Vera tries for a head kick this time and it’s blocked.
Vera misses with a front kick upstairs, but lands another big knee. Pickett changes things up with a takedown attempt. He pushes Vera up to the cage and fails almost gets him down at the first attempt, then slams him down at the second try.
Pickett in Vera’s guard and looking to pass with more than half the round remaining. Patient work from Pickett, but he starts to drop down a few hard elbow strikes to the head.
‘One Punch’ is picking his moments to strike here and making sure he retains his dominant position inbetween times. He starts grinding his elbow into his opponent’s face and lands a few blows into the bargain.
Pickett attempting to pass but Vera’s kicking him off. Vera landing a few heel kicks to his head from his back and Pickett looks surprised by that and looks at the ref, who tells him to keep fighting. That brief lapse from Pickett buys Vera time to stand back up.
Striking exchanges now and it’s Vera who’s trying to lead the dance with more kicks. Kick upstairs from Vera is blocked. Pickett with a nice knee and tries to flurry against the cage, but Vera stays cool under pressure.
Vera with an immediate head kick attempt that’s blocked. Pickett with a few punches in retaliation. Knee and a punch for Vera. Flying knee from Vera now.
Two low leg kicks for Pickett. Vera looking to set up another knee, but Pickett discourage shim with a left hook. Body kicks for Vera. He’s looking fresh despite coming into the fight on short-notice.
Jab for Pickett and is just out of range for the knee in return. Now it’s Vera with two clean jabs. Vera lands a good body kick, then to the leg and a punch behind it.
Vera misses with a couple ofs strikes, but finds a home for the knee again. That’s been his best strike throughout. Surprising that Pickett hasn’t tried for the takedowns that were successful for him in the previous rounds.
Good leg kick for Vera. Now one to the body and Pickett seems to be slowing down, but he does land a counter punch.
Two jabs for Pickett, but eats the knee in return. Body kick for Vera. Pickett with a couple of punches. He misses with a winging hook.
Leg kick for Pickett. Vera suddenly unleashes a big left head kick that lands clean and floors Pickett. Vera stands over him and lands few hammerfists and just as Pickett is trying to kick him away the ref rushes in and calls an end to the fight by TKO at 3.50mins of the final round!
Pickett is unhappy with the stoppage as he immediately gets back to his feet, though he does look a bit wobbled. It’s a sad end to this British MMA pioneer’s career, but in true ‘One Punch’ fashion he went out on his shield entertaining the fans.
As for Vera, he is emotional too and humble in victory. He did very well here and will hope this helps put him on the map.