Brad “One Punch” Pickett (22-6-0) vs. Eddie Wineland (19-8-1)
Brad Pickett is probably one of the more well rounded fighters in the bantamweight division. Through 22 career wins Pickett has finished 10 fights by submission and 7 by knockout, and holds a record of 12-2 in his last 14 fights. The only problem for him and his title aspirations is that he lost to Renan Barao in his first UFC fight, and he may have to wait until Barao losses the (interim) title to get his shot. Given he may earn another shot at Barao, but when you get choked out in the first round it’s a bit hard to try and sell yourself in a rematch.
With a win over Pickett, Wineland could finally push himself past gatekeeper status, which he has been labeled with. An example of that status can be seen in Urijah Faber, whom had earned his first bantamweight title shot with a win over Wineland. Outside the big fights, Wineland generally wins and in explosive manner and that helps erase the memory of those decision losses.
In this fight, Wineland is going to search for the win on the feet. Given Pickett has shown to have knockout power, Wineland still holds more tricks in his arsenal. With wins from slam, kick, knees, and punches, he can finish fighters with almost any part of his body. Despite the moniker “One Punch,” Pickett has finished more fights on the ground, which is where he has the safest and best chance of winning this fight. The problem here though is will he be able to get it there? Wineland’s wrestling and wrestling defense could stymie Pickett’s ability to take the fight to the ground.
The Bottom Line:
Wineland does well, but this fight will prove if he is a real contender. He will pass as his wrestling skills keeps him off the ground enough to earn an unanimous decision.