The UFC is an ever-changing picture, fighters come, they take over the scene, whether that is with incredible performances, being a huge personality or some combination of the two. Well, Paddy ‘The Baddy’ Pimblett is rather well known in the fight world. For both of the above. Prior to joining the UFC, Paddy was CONSTANTLY involved in rumours saying he would be signing with the number one mixed martial arts organisation in the world. As he took on anyone and everyone, beating almost all of them, winning, defending then losing the featherweight title and then fighting for the lightweight title at cage warriors.
Paddy became popular, not only for his “I’ll fight anyone anywhere” take on the game, but his style was very intriguing to the masses, especially casual fans. When you see a man win a fight with a flying armbar it’s kind of a no brainer right? But when he has an incredible trash talk game too, which seems to be a staple of fighters from Liverpool, or the UK in general I guess, it’s honestly no wonder to me why Paddy absolutely skyrocketed in popularity. Not only that, but for a man to constantly be linked with a move over to the UFC, but at 26 years old to admit he “wasn’t ready” for the move to the UFC, biding his time, building his profile and THEN signing for the organisation, was a very mature decision.
Before we talk about what or who is next for Paddy Pimblett, it’s worth taking a look BACK at his UFC debut. On a card featuring the pride of the MMA scene from Liverpool. Wins for Molly McCann of Liverpool, Tom Aspinall of Liverpool and Paddy Pimblett of Liverpool were unfortunately somewhat overshadowed in the long run as Darren Till was submitted via rear-naked choke at the hands of a resurging Derek Brunson leaving Till kind of in no man’s land with his future in the UFC. Back to Paddy, in his debut he fought Brazil’s Luigi Vendramini.
Vendramini prior to joining the UFC was undefeated. But since joining the UFC his career has gone from 8-0 to 9-3, with his only win coming as a first round knockout against Jessin Ayari on his return to Lightweight. So, after 2 losses and 1 win, Vendramini was given a fight against UFC newcomer Paddy Pimblett. Going into the fight, Paddy edged out Luigi as -138 favourite, with Luigi being the +110 underdog. The fight saw sparks fly as both fighters swung for the bleachers. Luigi got caught, Paddy got caught. Nobody knew how this fight was going to go, until a pretty spectacular flurry where Paddy gets caught on the way in, but ultimately gets an amazing finish in round one.
Thanks to Paddy I won a few quid on this fight, I had faith and I have faith he’s going to make big moves in the UFC once he adjusts to the pressure of fighting on the biggest stage in MMA, I feel like more sportsbooks will be making him quite the heavy favourite moving forward too. If you’re into it you can find your favourite fighter odds and UFC predictions at twinspires sportsbook, it’s worth looking, you might be surprised at the odds you could get on some pretty good fighters.
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Betting on MMA isn’t the easiest thing to get your head around, but there are plenty of resources out there to help you get started if you’ve never done it before, the world of MMA is growing in popularity so much these days, it is way more mainstream now than it ever was in the past and I can’t see the hype train slowing down, with big name fighters helping build the sport like Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz. But since neither me or you are ever gonna get there, we can still get involved in our own way I guess!
Now, the whole point of us gathering here today, what’s next for Paddy Pimblet? There have been a LOT of names thrown into the hat and while Paddy was hoping to fight again in 2021 the calendar didn’t quite have the space for it unfortunately, but even if he did fight in 2021, who would he have even faced? Well, when asked who his next opponent would be, or rather, who he wants to fight next, Paddy said “People can talk about me all they want lad. Everyone wants to talk about me… I don’t need to mention anybody’s name.” and honestly I don’t think I can disagree with him, the man has been in the UFC 2 minutes, got a pretty crazy knockout, talked his smack and put himself on the radar of, well, everybody!
BUT the big name everyone is talking about right now is Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone. Cowboy is an amazing person and a true veteran of mixed martial arts, not only that but he is a MASSIVE name in the game, his recent record isn’t exactly anything to shout home about though. Firstly, he hasn’t fought since May 2021, where he got knocked out by Alex Morono, he has fought Niko Price which was a majority draw (overturned by NSAC after Niko tested positive for weed..?), but then he has also lost to Anthony Pettis (Unanimous decision), Conor McGregor (Knockout), Justin Gaethje (Knockout) and Tony Ferguson which was a Doctor’s Stoppage. All of this between June 2019 and May 2021. Ferguson to McGregor was an EIGHT MONTH gap… Which is insane to me, 2 knockouts and a doctor’s stoppage in 8 months?
Look, I’m not going to say Cowboy can’t fight who he wants, the man has earned the right to take any name and I’ll always give him a chance, but Paddy is the new blood in the game, he’s fast, he hits hard and his submission game is nuts (blackbelt in BJJ), I fully believe he would be too much for Cowboy. HOWEVER, could Cowboy use it as one last payday before he retires for good? Absolutely. Not only that, a win over Cowboy would look pretty good on Paddys record wouldn’t it? Even if it is a current Cowboy not a prime Cowboy. Do I even think this fight is going to happen? Probably not, I can’t see Cowboy settling for a role as the gatekeeper of the lightweight division.
ANYWAY we won’t find out for a little while what’s next for Paddy, but a guy of his calibre is going to make waves in the Lightweight division, whether he makes it to the top remains to be seen, that is a story for another time however. Who do you think Paddy should fight next? What about Cowboy, should he fight again or should he just gracefully retire at this point? Whatever he does, Cowboy has had an incredible career and it has been awesome seeing him in the Octagon. Until next time, take care everybody!
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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