Yves Jabouin is close. He's real close. But so is Brad Pickett, and Jabouin knows it.
Jabouin (16-7 MMA, 3-1 UFC) and Pickett (21-6 MMA, 1-1 UFC) meet on the main card of UFC on FUEL TV 5 later this month in Pickett's home country of England. And Jabouin thinks each of them is knocking on the door of the bantamweight title mix.
"I would say we're getting close to (a title shot)," Jabouin on Wednesday told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "The 135-pound division has a lot of tough competitors, and me and Brad Pickett are out to show we're coming. Don't overlook us, because we're two top competitors and we're coming after it."
UFC on FUEL TV 5 takes place Sept. 29 at Capital FM Arena in Nottingham, England. It will be the UFC's 11th trip to England, but first to Nottingham. The card is headlined by a heavyweight bout between Stefan Struve and Stipe Miocic.
The only thing separating Jabouin from a five-fight win streak is one of the slicker submissions of all 2011. At UFC 129 in Toronto, Pablo Garza threw up a brilliant flying triangle choke in the first fight of the night in front of 55,000 fans at Rogers Centre – and the resulting tapout held up to pocket Garza an extra $129,000 for "Submission of the Night."
Aside from that loss in his UFC debut, it's been a nice run for Jabouin since coming over from the WEC, where he was 1-2. He's picked up three straight decision wins over Ian Loveland, Walel Watson and, most recently, Jeff Hougland at UFC on FUEL TV 3.