Brad Pickett Promises Fireworks at BKB16
Brad Pickett Promises Fireworks at BKB16, Says Opponent Mark Handley Isn’t Anywhere Near His Level
On March 30th, longtime UFC and WEC competitor, Brad Pickett will make his bare-knuckle boxing debut for BKB™ at the O2 Arena in London, England. Mark Handley has been selected to welcome ‘One Punch’ Pickett back to competition after retiring from mixed martial arts in March 2017.
Though he announced his retirement in the center of the UFC Octagon, combat sport fans have witnessed a retired fighter return to competition, sometimes quicker than expected. Now age 40, really, what more was there for Pickett to accomplish? Sure he didn’t win the UFC title during his 6-year run with the promotion, but, Pickett helped build the lighter weight classes, which are now arguably filled with some of the best talents in the world.
When most speculated a potential return for ‘One Punch’ in the future, one wouldn’t imagine for a bare-knuckle promotion, however, Pickett says training for his up-and-coming fight has been less taxing on his body, and feels great ahead of his fight with Handley later next month.
“My training is different for this bare-knuckle boxing match, it’s a lot easier on my body having to just hit pads, run, strength and conditioning and just doing a little sparring. In MMA, I had to train wrestling, grappling, etc. and it was just more taxing on my body. I’m feeling good, and even though I’ve been retired, I’m very active with coaching.”
Mark Handley, who will be the man to square off with the MMA legend Pickett is currently 2-0-1 in BKB, bringing the greater experience in a professional boxing match without gloves. Unfazed, it seems, Brad says Handley isn’t anywhere near his level and that he’s coming ready.
He (Mark Handley) is small, stocky and strong, but without sounding disrespectful, I don’t think he’s anywhere near on my level. But a fight’s a fight, I’m coming ready, and I believe I will stop him inside the distance.” Additionally, he adds: “I know fighting is fighting, but there’s levels.”
Just a few years ago, bare-knuckle boxing was done surrounded by hay bales, and more importantly done illegally, as it wasn’t recognized as a sport. Now legal, BKB™ will return to the famous O2 Arena, where there will be well above 2000 people in attendance. Continuing to grow as a fan, Pickett thought the time was right, as the sport, purses and quality of fights are getting bigger and better.
“(Bare Knuckle Boxing) has been around a very, very long time, but I believe now it’s getting more popular, it being legalized. The promotion (BKB™) is getting bigger, the purses are getting better, and quality of fights are getting a lot better because now they’re attracting high-level fighters.” Pickett adding himself to the list of notable names, “BKB™ is promoting the sport very well.” When asked how long his potential stay with the sport will last, ‘One Punch says: “I’m seeing how it goes. I’m not going to say this is my new career or it’s a 1-fight deal, I’m just going to see how I feel. It’s one of those things where I like to compete, always will. MMA is a lot harder for me to train for, so for me to train for an MMA fight, it would have to be something that makes me want to get out of bed in the morning to go train. I’d have to drop a lot of things to be able to concentrate for a mixed martial arts fight. It would have to be something big.”
Brad Pickett doesn’t go by the name ‘One Punch’ for no reason. Given the nickname, in which he has ran with for many years, Pickett is known for his brawl-like fighting style, looking for a one punch knockout. On March 30th, he assures the fans he will be doing just that.
“You can expect, and for anyone that’s ever watched any of my fights, you won’t see anything less than fireworks. I don’t take a backwards step, always looking to knock out my opponent from the first exchange to the last one.”
At BKB™ 16, Brad Pickett makes his BKB debut, welcomed by Mark Handley. Who wins? Lets us know on Twitter: @bkb_official1
(Photo Credit: The Independent)