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18th Mar 2017

You may cry when watching this footage of Brad Pickett’s final fight week

It's going to get emotional

Darragh Murphy

I cried.

This will be one of the last stories I write about Brad Pickett as an active fighter.

And that’s sad.

As pioneers go, you’d be hard pressed to find a man or woman alive who did more for European mixed martial arts than Brad Pickett, who hangs up his gloves in his hometown of London this weekend.

‘One Punch’ walks away from the Octagon as a favourite of media members, of fans, of matchmakers, of UFC president Dana White and he deserves the perfect send-off when he takes to the mat to put the finishing touches on his professional record.

Win, lose or draw against late replacement Marlon Vera, Pickett’s impact on the sport ought to be applauded and we should all expect a few tears to be shed before, as he promises to do, Pickett leaves his trademark trilby in the centre of the Octagon.

Fight week has been an emotional one for the 38-year-old, who has kept his dog Bonnie by his side throughout as a source of comfort.

And on the eve of his swansong, the UFC released footage of what Pickett has been up to these past few days and it may well send tears streaming down your face as the above video shows ‘One Punch’ playing with his son Buddy before he is presented with a souvenir of a newspaper with messages from key figures in the UFC.

Pickett is about to cross the threshold from fighter to ex-fighter.

And that will take some getting used to.