Two bantamweights look to take a step toward the title this Saturday. Brad Pickett plans to build off his last Fight of the Night bonus, while Yves looks to continue his career resurgence at 135. With the title held up due to Dominick Cruz’s injury, there may be another fight or two until they get to the title, but a win here is a step closer to each man’s dream of being the top bantamweight in the world.
Brad has always been a great fighter, but since he has reached the Zuffa promotions he has floundered under pressure. His record does stand at 4-2, with losses only to interim champion Renan Barao and former title challenger Scott Jorgensen. Considering that both losses also came with fight of the night bonuses, it’s obvious that Pickett is a mainstay in the division. Despite his nickname of ‘One Punch,’ Pickett actually has a great ground game, having submitted 10 of his 21 wins. This is where Brad will hold the advantage since three of Yves seven losses have come by way of submission.
Yves is proven to be a great standup fighter, having knocked out 11 of his 17 opponents. The problem is since he came down to 135 he has not finished one opponent. Has he lost his power? Probably not, but maybe the weight cut has taken some getting used to. Yves will not enjoy a height or reach advantage against Brad, but he will not want the fight to hit the ground since that is one of his weaknesses. While he has won 3 straight fights, two of those are by split decision and none of the fighters are of current significance in the division. A win over Brad would make a statement.
The Bottom Line:
Yves has shown potential but nothing that would show he can beat someone like ‘One Punch’. Pickett knows how to put on the pressure and that is when Yves will break. Look for his to finish the fight with a second round submission.