Jamie Pickett blames referee Keith Peterson for missing a blatant low blow during his UFC 285 matchup with highly-touted debutant Bo Nickal.
Pickett and Nickal opened up Saturday’s main card and all eyes were on the three-time NCAA Division I national champion as he made his official debut for the promotion after two stellar performances on Dana White’s Contender Series last year. Unfortunately, his otherwise impressive first-round submission of Pickett was marred after replays of the bout revealed that Nickal landed an unintentional low blow that appeared to alter the course of the action and led to the fight-ending sequence.
Speaking with James Lynch in a MiddleEasy exclusive, Jamie Pickett opened up about the controversial finish. Pickett opened things up by establishing that he is not accusing Nickal of committing an intentional foul or attempting to cheat in any way.
“I’m not calling Bo Nickal a cheater,” Pickett said. “I’m not saying that what he did was wrong because nobody told him to stop. He did his job. He did exactly what he’s supposed to do. I’m not mad at him so why he’s acting like I’m talking sh*t about him, I don’t know what that’s about. Maybe that’s just the bitch in him, I don’t know, but I ain’t said nothing bad about the kid. He did his job. He did exactly what I would do if I was in that situation.
“I don’t think he did it on purpose. I could tell he didn’t notice it. He hasn’t been fighting long enough, but brother, I’ve been held up against the cage in every fight I’ve ever had. I’ve been kneed in the thigh and the top of the knee. In the stomach. I’ve been kneed everything. I haven’t complained and I stay right there. He wasn’t taking me down against the cage. He couldn’t do it.
“When he kneed me in the balls, it was straight up the middle. It’s on camera. How can you say you didn’t do something? It’s right there. It’s on camera. It felt like a warm hot feeling when up my stomach and I was pissed the whole time. I didn’t really fight back at first because I was so pissed off. I was thinking the referee was going to stop it. He didn’t. I was more irritated with the ref than anything.”
Pickett again reiterated that Nickal did not intentionally low-blow him. It was nothing more than an unfortunate accident that the referee failed to observe, but that does not change the fact that it happened and likely played a significant role in Nickal picking up the win.
“He didn’t mean to do it,” Pickett continued. “I know for a fact he didn’t mean to do it. He wasn’t trying to cheat me. He wasn’t trying to knee me in the balls. I know he wasn’t, but you did.”
Jamie Pickett's manager LaMont Chappell tells me they will be appealing the result of the Bo Nickal fight with the NSAC, citing a low blow directly led to the takedown and finish. #UFC285 https://t.co/w9GWVxzqlL
— Nolan King (@mma_kings) March 5, 2023
Jamie Pickett on the Appeal with the Nevada State Athletic Commission
With the infraction playing a role in the outcome of the bout, Jamie Pickett and his team revealed that they are appealing the result with the Nevada State Athletic Commission. That revelation did not sit well with Nickal who claimed that the knee in question hit Pickett “in the leg, in the thigh.” Asked about the status of the appeal, Pickett revealed that he was not clued in on the appeal as it was initiated by his manager, LaMont Chappell.
“I don’t know,” Pickett admitted. “It’s all my manager’s doing. I didn’t know he was doing it. My manager called me up and said, ‘Hey, I’m appealing this.’ I said okay. I haven’t asked anything about it. I’ve been with my family. With my daughter. I’m in dad mode. Back when I was younger, me and Bo would be arguing about this sh*t, but I’m 34, man.”
The loss was Pickett’s third straight via stoppage since February 2022. With the controversy surrounding his defeat on Saturday, Pickett will likely get another opportunity to compete inside the Octagon.
As for Bo Nickal, the collegiate wrestling superstar scored his fourth straight win, all of which have come in the first round. With the quick finish at UFC 285, the promotion will likely look to get Nickal back in the Octagon with minimal downtime though no opponent has been speculated on as of yet.
Bo Nickal on whether he landed a groin strike against Jamie Pickett pic.twitter.com/wWbvfdP0QI
— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) March 5, 2023