There comes a point in every athlete’s career where they realize they are at the tail end of their run. The business of mixed martial arts is an interesting one as a fighter’s urge to compete will always be there— retired or not. Brad “One Punch” Pickett is a fighter at heart, but is planting the seeds so he can retire from in-cage competition while still being involved in the fight game.
Being a trainer and coach for young mixed martial artists is a satisfying gig for most retired veterans, but Pickett will be going down a different route. The England native has decided to start running his own promotion, “Rise of Champions”. The organization’s first card runs on October 27 in Romford, North London.
“Basically, I’m planting a lot of seeds,” Pickett told MMA Fighting. “I’m coming to the end of my career, and I know that. I am looking to still fight, I’m not retiring by the way, but I need to plant certain seeds. I think also with my experience, I’ve been around for a long, long time, and I’ve been to a lot of shows.”
Pickett’s hope is to give younger athletes in England a more legitimate proving ground to find out where their skills are at.
“…When I first started fighting, there was not really a legit career path for young athletes. If you were a young athlete you’d have to do football or basketball or do something else. There wasn’t a career path. But now, after years of me being in this sport, there is a legit career path where, if you want to go earn money, you can go and be an MMA fighter, get in the UFC and do that. My show’s basically trying to cater for younger talent, amateur, only a small portion of pro on my cards, mainly amateur fights. And try to get them the experience. It’s called Rise of Champions, because in a way it’s the birth of someone’s career.”
Pickett doesn’t plan to pad anyone’s record; He wants the best to fight the best in his new promotion.
“Someone who’s 6-0 shouldn’t be fighting someone who’s 0-4. No one is going to achieve anything from that, especially as an amateur. When you’re an amateur, you want to have your tough fights, you want to be battle-tested before you go pro.”
How do you think Pickett will fare in the promoting world?
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