Flyweights Brad Pickett and Ian McCall are due to lock horns when the UFC returns to Dublin in July. The fighters have developed a rivalry through their exchanges via social media which should make for an exciting battle in the O2.
McCall ensured fans that the bout will live up to the hype, speaking to Niall McGrath of TalkingBrawls.
We’re going to beat the crap out of each other. That’s a no-brainer. He always comes to fight. I always come to fight. We’re going to go at a good pace.
The two were originally set to fight at UFC Fight Night 37 in London in March but injury forced “Uncle Creepy” to pull out of the bout, allowing Irishman Neil Seery to make his promotional debut. Pickett admitted he was disappointed about not getting to face his rival in London, also speaking on TalkingBrawls podcast.
“I’ve had over thirty-odd fights and I’ve never had someone I wanted to punch as much in the face (than) Ian McCall, you know. So then, like, him dropping out and then having Neil Seery as an opponent, I wasn’t as up for it as much as I should do.”
A win over newcomer Seery left Pickett at number 11 in the flyweight rankings and ultimately didn’t do much to progress his title run. He divulged how McCall’s injury hindered his plans in the division.
“It wasn’t easy making flyweight; I had to make a massive lifestyle change. I don’t want to do this all the time. The only reason I’m going down to flyweight is to try to be number one in the world. So, I’m not here just to make up numbers. What he’s (McCall) done is effectively made me have to diet for another long period of time before I could get a title shot. He’s just put my life on hold, which being at the age of 35 you don’t want to be on hold. You want to try and reap the rewards while I’m still active.”
McCall disclosed the extent of the injuries that forced him to withdraw from the London fight.
“My body’s been failing me lately. You know, my hand, I broke it. I had to have a few surgeries on it. And then my hip and my groin in two places all tore at once. So, it’s just one of those things.”
“My hand will always be deformed. I can’t make a fist. If I showed you my hand, you’d laugh. It’s a f****** mess. But, it’s rock solid so I can punch people with it. It works. The groin? Getting better. It’s just one of those things that’s always going to be there. It will take a long time to heal. I mean, I could have had surgery on it.”
The Team Oyama member was unimpressed with Pickett’s performance against his replacement.
I’m going to be offensive for a second here guys but, you get an Englishman who fights an Irishman and the Irishman cracks him and the Englishman turns into a wrestler? When he’s supposed to be a kickboxer? I’m not saying anything against English wrestling but it sucks.
“I’m an American wrestler and I’m pretty damn good. I didn’t do anything collegiately or anything with my talent but I know I’m damn good at wrestling. Especially, MMA wrestling. So, that whole process of him being slow and if you can punch him, he’s going to try and out wrestle me. That’s not going to happen, man. I think I’m one of the elite grapplers in this division.”
Pickett’s contempt towards his counterpart stems from McCall’s trash talking on social media at the Brit’s expense.
“When he then pulled out of his fight which I don’t mind like, anything can happen, people get injured. I could get injured training for this fight and pull out but what annoyed me and really got under my skin was after he pulled out he still continued to try and track shit on the internet. So I’m like, talk as much as you want if you’re going to fight me. I want you to shut up. I don’t want to hear what you have to say. That’s what annoyed me more, him continuing to talk smack when I’m not fighting you.”
“Uncle Creepy” confessed his delight at the affect his mind games are having on his opponent.
“I’m winning that mental part of it so far. I doubt it will affect him. Brad’s been fighting for a very long time. I doubt me pissing him off is going to make him fight worse. But, it’s fun. I get a kick out of messing with people and especially when someone can fight back. Look what I do for a living. I beat people up for a living but it’s always against solid competition. If I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it right. I’m going to maybe, ruin part of your day because I said something funny in a sentence.”
He added how he thinks he has the edge over Pickett in the trash talking department.
“He thinks he’s like Monty Python potty humour is funny but I don’t think he’s funny. I don’t know, it’s funny because we have some of the same friends and I don’t know, we just like talking s*** to each other. I think we’re both just good at talking s***. I just think it’s funny. I mean, come on. Some of the stuff we’ve said to each other on social media is pretty funny. You’ve got to give us credit for that, at least for doing our part.”
Pickett seemed confident that a dominant win would seal his place as the next challenger to take a shot at Mighty Mouse’s belt.
“The division is not a massively deep division. I think that Demetrious Johnson has basically cleaned it up so there’s not really a lot of people out there apart from rematches. I think a good win by me puts a new challenger in there. Obviously, I do have a win over Demetrious Johnson, if the UFC like stories they have that.”
You can listen to both interviews in full on TalkingBrawls Radio podcast which is available to stream or download.
Image Credit: ufc.com