Paddy Pimblett has appeared to have finally signed for the UFC after much speculation following his swift finish of Davide Martinez at Cage Warriors 122. ‘Paddy the Baddy’ was added to the UFC fan rankings shortly after his most recent outing in the U.K. promotion. Guillherme Cruz of MMA Fighting would confirm he has indeed been signed by the UFC.
But why is this a big deal? Pimblett has been one of if not the hottest prospect in Europe for years, and now we will get too se how he fares against the best the world has to offer at 145 and 155 pounds. He is the former Cage Warriors featherweight champion and has fought for the lightweight belt too and is currently riding a two-fight winning streak, both first-round finishes.
The 26-year-old will be taking an army of loyal fans with him over to the UFC, so with a few good wins be expecting to see him rise up the rankings and face stiffer competition quite early as the UFC try to capitalize on his star power. The Scouser has a huge social media following and is wildly adored in his hometown of Liverpool, England, for his love and passion for the city and the people. On top of this he has great energy, knows how to talk, and can rile up the fans in a Conor McGregor-esque manner.
If he can bring anywhere near the sort of atmosphere he brings to the Echo arena in Liverpool when he fights in the UFC he is bound to be a star.
Pimblett has gone 16-3 in his career so far and is a prolific finisher with 12 of his wins being stoppages (5 KO/TKO 7 submissions). So, he matches the excitement out of the cage in the cage too, with three of his submissions coming by way of his patented flying triangle. He does most of his best work on mat, being a BJJ blackbelt, as shown by his 7 submission victories. His striking has been something that people have criticized him for, but in the short time we’ve seen him fight in recent years he has shown improvement, even rocking Martinez with a question mark kick in his last fight.
Pimblett’s last four fights have come at lightweight but seems to be more interested in moving back down to featherweight in the UFC. He has struggled with the 145 cut in the past and has put that down to being unprofessional, but has snapped out of it following the loss of his featherweight title, in his last 145 fight, to Nad Narimani, in 2017. ‘The Baddy’ will be large for the weight class at 5’10” and should have considerable reach and size advantages over his opponents.
As for his debut fight Pimblett has expressed that he would like to fight Jared Gordon. This arises from the fact “Flash” beat Pimblett’s teammate, Chris Fishgold, at UFC Fight Night 172.
There is also the possibility of a rematch with former Ultimate Fighter contestant Julian Erosa.
The two met up in 2016 when Erosa unsuccessfully challenged for Pimblett’s featherweight title in a close decision. This would be a great debut fight in the UFC and definitely one the UFC could sell to those who don’t know about Pimblett. However, Erosa is currently slated to fight Seung Woo Choi in June, so it may be unlikely the fight materialises for a debut.