Middleweight Jamie Pickett looked to return to the win column at UFC 279, booked opposite UAE Warriors and Brave CF vet Denis Tiuliulin, in search of his first win inside the octagon.
The bout had a tough act to follow, after the all-out brawl between heavyweights Chris Barnett and Jake Collier.
Pickett landed arguably the first significant strike on Saturday, connecting with a left hand. Tuiluilin would later hit home with a right counter. Tiuliulin mixed in some kicks, while Pickett shot in for a takedown. Tiuliulin defended with a whizzer and stayed up, though Pickett refused to give up on the attempt for some time, until Tiuliulin finally pushed him off.
As the round progressed, Tuiliulin pressed the action, keeping Pickett on the outside. Tiuliulin had Pickett hurt late in the round — then had him really hurt with a cracking low blow. Replays showed it close to the belt line, but regardless, Pickett got some recovery time, taking roughly a minute. Tiuliulin, undeterred, threw the kick at least twice more before the end of the round.
Round two found Denis Tiuliulin pressing forward once again, ripping a kick to the body for good measure. Pickett’s corner urged him to stay off the cage, which appeared to be easier said than done. They’d then come together at center, with Tiuliulin landing a couple of good standing elbows. Pickett was game, but Tiuliulin was mixing things up well, ripping the body. Then, another low blow halted the action, with Tiuliulin landed a knee to the cup in an exchange of kicks.
Ref Mike Beltran then opted to take a point, which appeared to motivate Tuiliulin, who went on the attack immediately when the action resumed. Tiuliulin rocked Pickett once or twice, with Pickett eventually going to the ground care of an elbow; Tiuliulin wound up getting on top. He soon moved to side control and landed an elbow or two; Pickett managed to get back up, but ate a couple of hard elbows in the clinch. A powerful knee then sent Pickett to his knees, and the ground n’ pound that followed wrapped things up.
Official Result: Denis Tiuliulin def. Jamie Pickett by TKO, Round 2, 4:52