UFC Vegas 87: Eryk Anders Spoils Jamie Pickett’s Retirement Party

Eryk Anders and Jamie Pickett, UFC Vegas 87
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 02: (R-L) Eryk Anders punches Jamie Pickett in a middleweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on March 02, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

After getting dropped early, Eryk Anders came back to beat Jamie Pickett by unanimous decision in UFC Vegas 87’s featured prelim.

Jamie Pickett came into the fight as the owner of a 2-6 record in his UFC career, so a loss could lose him his job- though having announced his retirement ahead of the fight, it appeared Pickett was ready to call it a career either way. However, one would have thought that to be the case already after losing four in a row before this. Former University of Alabama linebacker Eryk Anders had once main evented against Lyoto Machida, and though he had not lived up to that billing, he has had a solid UFC career in the years since and came into the fight against Pickett as a heavy favorite.

Anders pressed Pickett back and shot an early single leg takedown when the fight began, but Jamie defended. They grappled in the clinch for a long period before Pickett broke free. On the feet, Anders came forward again but right into a right hand from Pickett which rocked him for a moment. However, Anders went for another single leg and turned it into a double leg, which succeeded. Pickett got back up, bet Eryk got on his back with the body-lock. However Pickett escaped that position and immediately dropped Anders with a straight punch, but Anders reversed the position and got on top with an omoplata attempt-turned-sweep. Jamie Pickett got back up and the round ended soon after, putting him up 10-9.

Anders hunted for wrestling again to start round two but Pickett’s defense held up at first. However on Eryk’s second attempt he was able to land one. He tried to get on Pickett’s back but Jamie bucked him over his head to escape. Still, he could not get out of being controlled in the clinch and the dirty boxing of Anders began to do damage, as well as help him to set up takedowns. This time Eryk Anders took Pickett’s back with one hook in and landed ground strikes until the round ended.

Going into the third round, Anders likely had tied it up at one round apiece, leaving all to fight for in the final stanza. His momentum continued as he took Pickett down into half-guard immediately in round three, as Jamie appeared visibly tired. Pickett regained full-guard but ate elbows from there. He turned to his side and Anders took that opportunity to cut him open with elbows, but Pickett was able to struggle to his feet. However, Anders simply took him down once more. Eryk dominated his foe from top position for the rest of the round, in all likelihood sealing his victory.

When the judges’ scorecards were read out, Anders got the nod to nobody’s surprise, even receiving a 10-8 from one judge.

Official Result: Eryk Anders def. Jamie Pickett by Unanimous Decision (29-27, 29-28, 29-28)