Brad Pickett vs. Michael McDonald
We’ve arrived at the prelim main event, as recent bantamweight No. 1 contender Michael McDonald (15-2) meets Brad Pickett (23-7). McDonald lost to interim UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao earlier this year, halting his four-fight Octagon win streak, while Pickett is 3-2 in his UFC career. Kevin McDonald is the referee.
McDonald is seven years younger than Pickett, and is the second-youngest fighter on the active roster.
Round 1: Pickett sizing McDonald up for that big punch, as evident by his nickname, “One Punch.” It’s McDonald, though, that rocks Pickett, landing a flurry and continuing to attack. McDonald is just teeing off, landing heavy lefts and rights. Pickett goes down, gets up, and McDonald drops him again. Pickett goes flying across the Octagon, but somehow, gets back to his feet. McDonald with more lefts and rights and the crowd reacts to Pickett’s unbelievable heart and toughness. Pickett’s face looks like he has been beaten on for 20 minutes, not just the two that this one is through. Despite the incredible flurry, McDonald is poised and clam, and scores a quick takedown. Back to the feet we go and they exchange right hands. McDonald catches Pickett with a high kick that drops him, and they go to the ground, with Pickett needing to find out where he is right now. What a performance by McDonald so far, and he allows Pickett back to his feet. Count-right from McDonald, who looks to be on top of his game this evening. Despite the several near finishes, not much reaction from the crowd. Maybe they all went to get a beer after the Conor McGregor fight? Swelling around the eye area of Pickett, who continues to fire away with everything he has.
FightLine scores the round 10-8 for McDonald
Round 2: Pickett comes right out, looking to land the KO blow. Very technical fight by McDonald, who is hitting, moving and defending. Pickett shoots for a single-leg and scores, moving into the guard with three-plus minutes left. McDonald tying up Pickett, likely to get a standup from the referee here. Pickett, still attempting to pass, lands an elbow and another to the head. McDonald throws up a triangle out of nowhere, grabbing the arm, moving from an armbar back to the triangle, and he gets it. A perfect submission, and Joe Rogan exclaims “that kid is for real.”
Michael McDonald def. Brad Pickett via submission (triangle choke) at 3:43 of Round 2