Brad ‘One Punch’ Pickett returns to the boxing ring on March 30, where he will compete at BKB 16 – a bare-knuckle boxing event, in London. Fan favourite Pickett retired from MMA at UFC London in March 2017 but was set to make a comeback at ACB London in August last year, before the promotion cancelled the event.
‘One Punch’ has certainly kept himself busy since his retirement from MMA, where he holds a 25-14 record. He is a pro team coach at Team Titan where he trains top UFC prospect Nathaniel Wood along with a host of Bellator and Cage Warriors fighters.
He has also set up his own fight promotion with Titan Head Coach Mickey Papas – ROC: Rise of Champions. Their seventh show will take place on Saturday 2 March at the Brentwood Centre, Essex where the headline fight is a run back of the draw between ‘Chopper’ Chi Lewis-Parry and Lukasz Parobiec that took place at BAMMA last March.
One Punch Management was formed by Pickett and another business partner in August 2018 and some big young talent has already been signed to the group including Bellator featherweight Olga Rubin, Titan fighter Luke Trainer and MMA power couple Lone’er Kavanagh and Charlotte McIntyre.
Since his retirement from MMA, Pickett has continued to compete in grappling contests for Polaris and Battle Grapple and his next match up is the main event spot at Pantheon against one of his former MMA opponents Paul Reed. This is a submission fighting bout, including ground and pound in 4oz gloves.
Brad’s wife Sarah also gave birth to their second child in December. So, with so much going on in his professional and personal life, what drives ‘One Punch’ to get back in the ring? In an Instagram story post on Sunday, Pickett said “I’m always looking to challenge myself and make life uncomfortable, as in discomfort there is groth. Nothing wrong with living a normal life but I would only achieve normal things and that’s not me. I’m more than happy with what I have achieved but I will always want more” (sic).
One Punch’s bare-knuckle opponent is rumoured to be a 50-fight pro boxing veteran, but is yet to be announced. Pickett rose to popularity with fans for his aggressive and exciting style of fighting, and while it’s clear he still has the desire to compete in combat sports at a high level there is also a sentimental reason that he feels it is fate that he steps into the ring again. Says Pickett “It’s now gone full circle as my granddad was a bare knuckle boxer too”.
BKB 16 takes place on Saturday 30 March at the London O2 Indigo. Tickets will be on sale from next week.
ROC: Rise of Champions 7 takes place on Saturday 2 March at the Brentwood Centre, Essex. Tickets are available online at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/roc-7-rise-of-champions-tickets-52995055638?fbclid=IwAR1-WY13z0otJnQGBu8if8AHTaUY3KXljyI-E7Hh7etCCPWG3miKQ_26qyM
Pantheon takes place on Saturday 2 February at Stylus, Leeds University. Tickets are available online from www.pantheonfight.com/