Jamie Pickett Announces UFC Retirement: “I want to play with my children when I get older”

At UFC Fight Night 238 in Las Vegas, the prevailing theme was unmistakably “Family first.” This sentiment was underscored by Tyson Pedro’s unexpected retirement announcement following a loss in the co-main event, and Jamie Pickett echoed this sentiment a few bouts earlier. Pickett, concluding the prelims with a decision loss to Eryk Anders, decided to hang up his gloves at the age of 35, prioritizing time with his family over continuing his fighting career.

 

“I’m retiring. I knew it coming [into the fight],” Pickett shared. “I was going to go out of here and leave it on the table and win. I have some issues I just don’t talk about. I’m not one of those people to make excuses about anything. If I lose a fight, I lost a fight. It doesn’t matter who it is about, what it is. … My losses are my losses, but I’ve had some problems for a while and I just don’t like to talk about them. I want to play with my children when I get older.”

 

Pickett concluded his UFC career on a challenging note, with five consecutive losses. Each of these defeats came under unusual circumstances that exceeded the normal scope of competition.

He accepted a fight against Kyle Daukaus on short notice, leading to a bout at an unconventional weight of 195 pounds. This match, which he lost via submission, marked the beginning of his string of losses. In a subsequent fight, Pickett faced Denis Tiuliulin, who was penalized for a low blow during their bout, adding another layer of complexity to Pickett’s losing streak.

Pickett’s series of unfortunate events continued with a scheduled fight against Bo Nickal, which was delayed due to Nickal’s injury and ended in another submission loss for Pickett. In a later match against Josh Fremd in August, Fremd failed to make weight, coming in three pounds over the limit. Finally, in his last bout this past Saturday against Anders, Pickett experienced what could be considered a standard fight, even managing to knock Anders down in the first round.

 

“I’m not a person to make excuses and land on a crutch,” Pickett stated. “I’ve never done that in my whole life. I’ve took the hard way around, everything I’ve ever done. I’m a hard worker, and I do what I have to do to make ends for my family. I’ve got a 6-year-old, and I’ve got kids that count on me, my little girls, and I want to be a positive role model in their lives.”

“I want to show them, I want to help them, guide them through life, navigate through the world, and I can’t do it if I’m messed up from fighting. I’ve talked to two doctors about things. My body’s just not holding up. I love the sport. I’m very appreciative that UFC let me fight out my contract. If they came right now and told me they’d give me another two contracts, the answer would still be the same.”

 

Pickett earned his spot in the UFC after triumphing in Dana White’s Contender Series in 2020, securing a win with a second-round TKO. Remarkably, this victory came on his third attempt in the series. Initially, in 2017, Charles Byrd defeated him via submission. Pickett had another opportunity following two subsequent victories but was defeated by a decision against Punahele Soriano.

Persistence paid off on his third attempt, leading to a contract with the UFC and nine fights within the promotion, beginning at 32.

Pickett reflected on his career with a sense of fulfillment, acknowledging his late entry into the UFC but emphasizing his commitment to making the most of it. “I’ve done everything I could do,” he stated. He highlighted his willingness to accept nearly any fight offered to him, often on very short notice, to prove his dedication to the sport. “I took care of almost every fight they’ve ever asked. I took it on short notice – I took it on seven days’ notice. I never said no, except for one time (against Alex Pereira), because I wanted to be something in this sport. But I got in a little too late, and I’m pretty banged up.”

In his final appearance, Pickett aimed to leave an indelible mark. “Tonight, I tried to give everything I had. I wanted to put on a show for the fans. I wanted to make people where I’m from proud. I come from a very small county. I went from a troubled kid to someone who’s looked at as a role model. I’ve done a lot from where I’m from. It might not be a lot to a lot of people, but where I come from, it’s a lot. So, that’s it.” 

For more insights and discussions on UFC Fight Night 238 and other MMA content, visit Fight Bananas’ website.

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