Brad Pickett would have walked away victorious in his retirement fight had he lasted just over a minute more against Marlon Vera. That is unless Vera scored an unlikely 10-8 round in the final frame, which would have still only resulted in a draw.
Brad Pickett was officially just over a minute away from a win at UFC Fight Night 107 on Saturday at The O2 Arena in London, England — or at the very least, a draw.
Barring a 10-8 round for his opponent, Marlon Vera (which wasn’t likely, going by how the third round was playing out), Pickett would have won a decision in the final fight of his veteran career and walked away on a high note, the bout’s official scorecard revealed. Going into the third round, two judges had “One Punch” up 20-18, while the third judge had it even at 19-19.
Confirming what we already suspected. Brad Pickett was up 20-18 on two scorecards before the last-second KO. Would have won. #UFCLondon pic.twitter.com/M3TWtqo2JN
— Shaheen Al-Shatti (@shaunalshatti) March 18, 2017
If the fight went the distance and Pickett won the third round, he would have won a unanimous decision. If the fight went the distance and Vera won the third round, Pickett would have edged out a split decision victory. And even if Vera scored a 10-8 on multiple judges’ scorecards, the bout still would have had resulted in only a majority or split draw — which is still better than a loss.
What happened at the 1:10 mark of the third and final round reiterated something that many fans often say: anything can happen in mixed martial arts. With only a little more than a minute remaining, a Vera win seemed unlikely. Vera had one way to win, and one way only — he had to finish Pickett. And he did.
He landed a devastating head kick and forced the referee to intervene, silencing Pickett’s hometown crowd.
Not everything has a happy ending, and the mixed martial arts gods certainly didn’t want Pickett’s career to have a story-book ending.
At least the bantamweight pioneer can say he was just over a minute away from riding off into the sunset victorious. That doesn’t sound too bad.