Few fighters have made their way to a debut UFC win like Paddy “The Baddy” Pimblett did impressively in Las Vegas last weekend.
The 26-year-old has described himself as a marketer’s ‘wet dream’ and looked every inch like the potential superstar many had recommended to him with a KO of Luigi Vendramini.
From the bounce to the octagon, the carefree mid-air attack and the first lap finish, to his celebratory dance moves and typically entertaining interview afterward, it went as well as the UFC’s marketing men – or anyone else – could have done. invent.
Paddy Pimblett stole the show with his performance in the cage and on the microphone
Luigi Vendramini (right) was shocked and finished by Pimblett in the first round of the fight
The Liverpool fighter captured the imagination of fans last weekend with his showmanship
Pimblett has been the blue-eyed boy of MMA on the British scene for some time, turning down approaches to the UFC twice, preferring to level up in Cage Warriors.
There were trials and tribulations along the way, a young man enjoyed the trappings of his success a little too enthusiastically, but he learned from those mistakes. Pimblett insists that the fame and fortune he is rapidly approaching will not derail his ambitions.
He told Sports post“To be honest, kid, it’s not the money, it’s the fame next to deal with because Cage Warriors gave me more money than I got for this UFC fight.
“Years ago when I was 21 I let it all go to my head, thought I was better than I was, thought I was the best thing since sliced bread, thought I didn’t have to work out.
“But now that I just put on weight for a week, I’ll be back in the gym on Monday, I’ve got my family, my fiancé around me and my gym family, that’s all.
“I’m not letting any bandwagon jumpers on board this time, forcing myself to go out on a night out just to help them out. This is a selfish sport and I’m doing this for me, it’s that simple.’
Those mature decisions to withstand the bright lights of the UFC were as much due to a desire to nurture his own talent as to agree to the best offer on the table.
Pimblett (left) is known for his striking yet exciting Las Vegas punching demonstration
“I’m glad I said no to the UFC then in 2016 and 2018,” he continued.
“Looking back now, I’m glad I said no, because it wouldn’t have exploded like this and the wages that Cage Warriors gave me… I’ve got my own house now, I helped Mom pay off her mortgage, my sister cleans up her kitchen and with the UFC pay I couldn’t have done that.”
Pimblett’s “gym family,” as he calls them, includes Molly McCann who produced a brilliant, combative performance to win Fight of the Night.
McCann, Pimblett, Darren Till and Tom Aspinall all train in Liverpool and ‘The Baddy’ spoke about the city’s rich fighting culture.
“The whole city has had to fight to be here,” he added. “My mom and dad, grandma and grandma and grandpa had to fight for the city to be there when the government tried to control the decline, without us being the fighters we are we wouldn’t be here today.
“It’s just how Scousers are, born and raised to be fighters, the number of boxers coming out of Liverpool, MMA fighters, elite athletes, even singers.
The charismatic lightweight fighter is looking to co-maintain this year on a map returning to the UK
“It just comes from our mindset, we fight through things, we don’t fold, we fight back against the establishment.”
Pimblett is known for his ground game, so to win his debut fight in such a spectacular way shows the number of weapons in his arsenal.
Even former Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge was impressed and called on Dana White to put on a show at Anfield and promised to buy front row seats.
Sturridge was known for his signature dance move celebration and Pimblett cut some shapes of his own for the cameras last Saturday night.
“It’s just the crazy dances I do on a night out, when you’re in a nightclub at four in the morning. The dances are just things me and my friends do,” he says, and the passionate Liverpool fan vowed to break Sturridge’s trademark if that big night at Anfield ever comes: “Yeah the Studgy! I’ll have to beat his dance when he’s there in the front row.
“I don’t know where or when the fight will be, but I think Dana wants to come to London. After my performance last night, I think he will want to come back to the UK. I don’t mind it anywhere, Liverpool, Manchester, London, even Newcastle.’
So what’s next? Pimblett was given a six-month medical suspension but should be back in action soon after his thumb heals and doctors clear things up.
Pimblett (left) took the best shot from Vendramini (right), but he quickly recovered to complete a finish
The lightweight showed some of his dance moves in the octagon of the Apex Arena to finish
He’ll be chasing a co-main event spot if the UFC puts him on a map before the end of the year.
“I’m not delusional, I’m sure they won’t give me a top 10, 15 (opponent), but no matter who you put in front of me, I’ll always believe I will.” win, I will take it easy,” he added.
“I’m not getting paid enough to compete in the top 10 or 15, let’s hope boy, in late November early December. Put me in a co-main event slot and I’ll blow the roof off.
“Let’s have a full arena for my strike and he’ll see what the star power is. My name is on everyone’s lips.’