London, UK- UFC®’s highly anticipated return to The O2 in London, England, is set to showcase some of the best British talent in MMA . With young local prospects heading to the big stage on home soil, the event on Saturday, March 18, will also mark the last fight for a legend of the sport and native Londoner, Brad “One Punch” Pickett.
Pickett (26-13; fighting out of London, England) will face Mexican Henry Briones (19-6-1; fighting out of Tijuana, Mexico) in his retirement fight at The O2.. After excelling at a young age in football, an injury turned the East Londoner to combat sports and his passion in what, at that time, was the relatively unknown sport of mixed martial arts.
With knockout power and an exciting fighting style, Pickett fast rose up the ranks and became a fan favourite in the UFC as well as a pioneer for British MMA. Pickett will leave his heart and gloves in the Octagon® as he looks to thrill his hometown fans one last time.
With this past year seeing the first British UFC champion crowned as Michael Bisping defeated Luke Rockhold in June, MMA has never been so prevalent in the UK. Making the walk to the Octagon on March 18 will be a host of British MMA talent hoping to make their own mark on the sport and represent the UK on a global stage.
Additional bouts include:
• Following a win at UFC® 204: BISPING VS. HENDERSON 2, in Manchester, England, Leon Edwards (12-3; fighting out of Birmingham, England) will take on his toughest test to date in Vicente Luque (11-5-1; fighting out of Brasilia, Brazil), who is coming off four consecutive wins in a pivotal welterweight showdown.
• Manchester’s own Marc Diakiese (11-0; fighting out of Manchester, England) will aim to keep his undefeated record against Finland’s Teemu Packalen (8-1; fighting out of Turku, Finland) in a lightweight matchup.
• Rising UK prospect Tom Breese (10-1; fighting out of Birmingham, England) will look to show he is a threat in the welterweight division when he faces Oluwale Bamgbose (6-2; fighting out of New York, USA) on March 18.
• The Brits collide in London as middleweight Bradley Scott (11-4; fighting out of Bath, England) returns from a year on the sidelines to face Scott Askham (14-3; fighting out of Yorkshire, England).
• London’s own Darren Stewart (8-0; fighting out of London, England) will be looking to put on a dominate performance on home soil against Brazilian Francimar Barroso (18-6; fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) as two of the brightest light heavyweight propsects square off.
With seven athletes from the UK so far annouced for UFC FIGHT NIGHT® LONDON, March 18 will be a showcase of British talent and show why the country is making strides in the sport.
Tickets for UFC FIGHT NIGHT® LONDON will go on general sale on Friday, January 27 via AXS and Ticketmaster. Fight Club members will get the opportunity to purchase their tickets early on Wednesday, January 25 at 10:00 a.m. and UFC newsletter subscribers on Thursday, January 26 at 10:00 a.m.
In order to avoid disapppointment, fans are encouraged to register interest for the event visit ufc.com/London. All bouts live and subject to change.
For further information and to sign up for the UFC newsletter, visit UFC.com or follow @UFCEurope on Twitter.