Sheer determination, a willingness to succeed in their goals. Staring down the blockades of life and knocking them down one by one until the ultimate goal is reached. These are all the characteristics of Brad “One Punch” Pickett. All these aspects have helped him reach his ultimate goal, bringing together a group of fighters at one of the best gyms the mixed martial arts world has ever seen.
Everyone I’ve spoken to in the fight game has had nothing but sheer admiration for the UFC legend. Who, since retiring, has made it his supreme goal to nurture and mould fighters to reach their ultimate objective.
I had the opportunity to speak to Brad on a trip to his Gym in South East London. to find out for myself and bear witness to the place he has built from the ground up, GBTT. Bringing together an advanced team of specialists and creating a place for many gifted amateurs and professionals to tone their skills and be released onto many cards across the country. Pickett has proven exactly what it means to never give up on your dreams.
I’d like to start this off by thanking you for allowing me the opportunity to visit your Facility today Brad. It’s been an amazing experience.
“No worries, it’s nice to have some visitors here.”
Many in the UK will know you for your fighting career with the UFC. Now taking on the next generation of fighters with GBTT, it must be an amazing feeling to have moulded so many phenomenal athletes?
“Yeah, for me obviously, my main thing when I was in my career was to try and be the best in the world, I was a very competitive fighter. Now, with my fight team, I can beam through them. I wanna have one of the best fight teams in the world 100%.”
Looking back, did you ever think that you would be amongst the highest rated gyms the UK MMA scene has to offer?
“I did, I’m not even sure if we’re up there. but I like to think I have a very good strong team because I’ve been there, done that and got the t-shirt you know. There are not many people that have had a full-on career at the highest level who’s now fallen into coaching and own a gym. And also, I know what fighters need to do and I think I’m very professional with how I approached the game in my fighting career and I make sure my athletes do the same thing. We’re always building, we’re getting stronger all the time, we’re attracting new fighters, talent attracts talent. I say it to all my fighters as well, I have created a world-class facility, you guys have world-class coaching because it will make you a world-class fighter. So it’s up to them to get themselves in the gym daily, do the grind and get better.”
Amateurs and professionals alike under your coaching regime have hit the UK fight scene by storm. Opening GBTT back in 2021 here has brought in so many exceptional athletes. Was the location on your radar for a while?
“For me, when I finished coaching at Team Titan, I created my own Team, Great Britain Top Team and we were bouncing around. I didn’t have my own facility, I was using other people’s gyms. Most gyms don’t have a pro team, so what they would do is the gyms would be quite dead during the day but then in the evening obviously, they’re doing their classes. I was borrowing people’s gyms, we were going to Gauntlet Fight Academy on a Monday in Ealing, then I’d be travelling to Fightzone in East London, then I’d be at Stronger Fitness And Martial Arts. I’d be in Richmond at Richmond Fitness, I was using a lot of people’s facilities. I never had my own home. And I found this place, even when I found this place it was just as the Covid pandemic hit. Covid put a hold on this, so I kept bouncing around the gyms. I’m very thankful to my business partner Martin Barrett, who helped me make this happen. There was a lot of work behind this to make it happen. But now, I do honestly believe, not only created something special here but also setting a bar you know. Where this is what a gym should look like, this is how training should be like. And hopefully having a place like this, should raise the level of coaching and facilities in the UK.”
“To be honest, I’m looking forward to my guy’s fight. I’m not only a coach to them I’m a fan, a lot of my fighters have some great ability and are in fun sets of fights. You have Nathaniel Wood who’s fighting in the UFC, also we’ve got Claudio Silva who’s fighting in the UFC as well. We have a lot of guys at the highest level then we have people in the feature show. Like Lone’er Kavanagh, Dan Collins . We have a lot of people fighting on Cage Warriors, Jeremy Petley. They’re all now looking to get to the UFC. Then we have people who have fought on Cage Warriors South East and Fightstar and UCMMA, all the local shows. We have a conveyor belt if you will, of a fighting team, where you have people come in, start at the lowest then build, build, build and we have people at the highest level. It’s not just a gym that concentrates at the highest level, we concentrate on the full conveyor belt of a fighter.”
Last but not least, do you have a message for anybody that is contemplating signing up in the not too distant future?
“I say 100% Come down, we have a great training method here. We have a very good atmosphere. For me, it’s very important to have a good atmosphere to train, you know. We’re a bunch of friendly people who train hard, we’re very professional with what we do and like I said it doesn’t matter what you wanna do to what level. Whether you wanna come here to get fit, just to learn a craft, great. You wanna go on to compete, great. If you don’t wanna compete, great, it doesn’t matter as I say we can cater for anyone.”