These days in the UFC, two straight losses could equal a pink slip and a fast pass to free agency. With such high stakes, some fight conservatively, and others turn up the aggressiveness.
That was the setting for the UFC on FUEL 9 fight between Brad Pickett and Mike Easton, who were both coming off defeats. Given Pickett's propensity for attacking, it seemed a sure thing that the bout would turn into a barn-burner instead of a bore, and that's exactly what happened.
In a close UFC on FUEL 9 bout which saw Pickett push the pace, he won a split decision by scores of 29-28, 29-28, 28-29.
"Being me, I went back to my old ways," the British bantamweight said afterward. "I wanted to make it exciting for you guys out there. My coaches are probably cursing me, but you guys made the sport what it is. Not us, you guys."
The output of the two was exceptional, with the fight contested in every aspect of mixed martial arts. Pickett became the first man to take Easton down, the two scrapped in the clinch, traded bombs from afar, and scrambled for position on the mat. It was a fight both technical and exciting, making it among the best of 2013 thus far.
Given how it went, Easton (13-3) will likely receive a reprieve from release.
Pickett moved to 23-7 with the win.