Former WEC fighter Brad Pickett will make his UFC debut in his native England against fellow bantamweight contender Renan Barao.
Pickett Vs Barao was announced today for the newly formed UFC 138 event which will take place in Birmingham, England on November 5th.
“In a huge fight for the Bantamweight title picture, top contenders Brad Pickett and Renan Barao are going to collide in Birmingham,” Dana White told The Telegraph. “Pickett is one of the very best fighters to ever come out of the UK but Barao hasn’t lost a fight since May 2005. Both guys have verbally agreed to the fight and this is a huge fight for the division.”
As White infers, “One Punch” Pickett, a former champion with the now defunct UK promotion Cage rage, could be the UK’s next big star in the UFC with his knack for getting into exciting, fast paced, scrappy encounters in the cage.
He’s also shown that he’s got what it takes to compete against some of the 135lb divisions top fighters, defeating the man many people expect to be the next No.1 contender in the division, Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson last year in the WEC along with Ivan Menjivar.
In all Pickett has a 3-1 record in the WEC, 20-5 in his career overall, and a win over Barao could put him in a strong position as far as the title picture is concerned.
Meanwhile Barao brings impressive credentials of his own to the table. Aside from a loss in his first ever fight he was since gone undefeated in 27 fights for a career record of 27-1 (1nc).
The majority of his fights were against relatively unknown opposition in his native Brazil, but he’s since proven he can also perform on the big stage by going 2-0 in the WEC and then claiming a victory in his UFC debut against Cole Escovedo back in May at UFC 130.
Therefore he too will be looking to make a name for himself at UFC 138 and make a strong push for the No.1 contender spot.