(Clad in a ragged fedora and suspenders, ‘One Punch’ is the first sub-boss you encounter in the “England” level of Super UFC Bros. / Image via @MleegArt)
After pulling out of this weekend’s UFC on FOX 9 card due to injury, Ian McCall has been reassigned to UFC Fight Night 37: Gustafsson vs. Manuwa, March 8th at the O2 Arena in London. “Uncle Creepy” will face off against Brad “One Punch” Pickett, who is dropping to flyweight for the first time following a 3-3 UFC stint at bantamweight. The UFC confirmed the booking yesterday.
Though Pickett was never able to put together a long winning streak in the Octagon, his fan-friendly style has earned him four Fight of the Night bonuses and one Knockout of the Night bonus since 2011, totaling $270,000 in extra cash. His last appearance resulted in a triangle-choke loss to Michael McDonald, in a bout that won the FOTN award for UFC Fight Night 26: Shogun vs. Sonnen. Of course, McCall is no slouch himself when it comes to bonuses, with two Fight of the Night bumps in his four UFC appearances. So yeah, should be fun.
Also on the card…
11-0 grappling wizard Gunnar Nelson — who hasn’t competed since February due to an injury and a car accident — will finally return to action at UFC Fight Night 37 against dangerous Dagestani (aren’t they all?) Omari Akhmedov, who picked up his 11th consecutive first-round stoppage win last month by knocking out Thiago Perpetuo at UFC Fight Night 32: Belfort vs. Henderson. The fight marked Akhmedov’s Octagon debut, and earned him and Perpetuo the event’s Fight of the Night award.
Once thought to be a serious threat in the welterweight division, Nelson’s long injury layoff and Akhmedov’s tendency to destroy people could make this a tough one for the emotionless Icelander. Your predictions, please.