At UFC on Fuel in England in September, Brad Pickett defeated Yves Jabouin with a brutal knockout to give him a big win on home turf.
After that fight, Pickett stated that Michael McDonald was on his radar. In my opinion, this would be a good fight for both men. McDonald is an up-and-coming prospect that is near the top of the division, while Pickett is an upper-level guy that could give him a great fight.
Here is a head-to-toe breakdown of McDonald and Pickett.
Both men are pretty good strikers, but one man is better than the other.
Pickett, who is known as "One Punch," was not living up to that moniker until his recent one-punch knockout of Yves Jabouin. It was his first KO since entering the Zuffa family back in 2009.
McDonald has a good kickboxing background and is brutal with his strikes. Nine of his 15 wins have come via knockout, including his last two fights in the UFC against Alex Soto and Miguel Torres.
McDonald is the more diverse, devastating striker and earns the edge here.
Neither man is a wrestler by trade, so this will be brief.
Pickett, like most British MMA fighters, is definitely weakest at wrestling. He has improved at American Top Team, so he is getting better, but he's still not the most efficient in that area.
McDonald, having come from a kickboxing background, is not a wrestler either. He has takedowns, but is not the most proficient wrestler you will see in MMA.
The edge here cannot be determined.
In terms of pure submission grappling, both men are extremely close.
Pickett trains at American Top Team and has a surprisingly good submission game. Under the Zuffa banner, Pickett has committed two of his 10 career submissions with a rear-naked choke of Damacio Page and a Peruvian necktie of Kyle Dietz.
McDonald is a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and has four career submission wins. Only one came under Zuffa—an armbar of Clint Godfrey—while the other three came much earlier in his career.
McDonald's grappling is very good and Pickett's submission game is also very solid. Therefore, we have another push.
If this fight were to go down, it would definitely be a good one.
Both men would entertain on the feet with an amazing striking display. Pickett would have his moments, but I think McDonald would get the better of the exchanges.
There would definitely be some points where both fighters were in trouble, but ultimately I think McDonald is better all around.
I don't know if McDonald would finish Pickett or not, but if he did not knock him out, he would take a decision.
Prediction: McDonald def. Pickett via decision