“One Punch” appeared on the latest edition of The MMA Hour ahead of his grappling bout with Phil Harris at Polaris 5 in London on Saturday and insisted the outcome of his fight with Vera didn’t really matter.
“For me, the outcome of the fight didn’t matter,” he told Ariel Helwani.
“It was the journey and the celebration of my career and what I’ve done, so I don’t think the outcome really mattered.
“It also shows that there is no fairytale ending, this is real life and MMA is real — as real as it gets. If this was WWE, I would have won, I would have got the fairytale ending, but it’s not. This is real.
“Life is tough sometimes and you just have to deal with that.”
Pickett controlled the majority of the fight and looked to be on his way to victory before Vera knocked to the floor with a head kick before finishing him grounded shots in the third round.
After watching the fight back, Pickett said he knew it was the right time to hang up his gloves.
“I have (watched the Vera fight) a couple of times. I was winning the whole fight and then I got head kicked. It made what I was doing and my decision correct,” he said.
“Marlon Vera is a good kid, but for me, I should have beaten him all day long, but I was beaten.
“The old me would have been able to walk forward and take those shots and keep coming. I should’ve been able to eat that head kick like it was a biscuit, like it was nothing.
“That’s wrong for me now. When you look at my last few fights I got dropped by Iuri Alcantara, I got dropped by Vera and I got dropped by Urijah Faber – he doesn’t necessarily hit that hard, but he dropped me.
“I’m getting dropped so I have to take a look at myself and say, ‘I’m the person that I used to be’. I used to absorb punishment and dish out more. I had to realize that I’m not that guy anymore.”