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LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 19: Paddy Pimblett of England celebrates his submission victory over Kazula Vargas of Mexico in a lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at O2 Arena on March 19, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
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Paddy Pimblett: ‘There Is No Pressure’

“What’s the point in being nervous when you know you’re going to win?”

Paddy Pimblett scoffs at the idea of pressure, brushing the notion off his shoulders like he did after picking up his first UFC win in September 2021. To say the scouser is confident is to call water wet, but the ease with which the 27-year-old Pimblett occupies the spotlight after two trips to the Octagon remains impressive. 

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After delivering an epic walkout in the O2 Arena and another first-round finish at UFC’s return to London in March 2022, he insists July 23 against Jordan Leavitt is just another trip to the office.

“There is no pressure,” Pimblett told UFC.com. “I’m going to bounce out like I always do and beat someone up for money. It’s a great job.”

Paddy Pimblett Talks Representing Liverpool
Paddy Pimblett Talks Representing Liverpool
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Despite Pimblett’s assertions about the lack of expectations around him, it’s hard to talk the way he talks and not create excitement. The fans and the haters come out of the woodwork in a sort of call-and-response and, so far, all Pimblett has done is back up his bullish chatter.

In his first 10 months on the roster, Pimblett turned into quite the lightning rod. From his confident nature to his post-fight eating habits, everyone seems to have an opinion on “The Baddy.” What you cannot deny, however, are the results: two fights, two first-round finishes and a boatload of fans hopping on the bandwagon. Pimblett is the first to tell you that it is all part of his plan.

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“I love being right,” he said. “It’s just great, especially when people have doubted you for so many years and hated on you. It’s brilliant to just prove yourself right and show everyone I am the boy. Everyone is starting to get the gist. They’ll get it even more after Saturday night.”

Pimblett credits his self-described “fall from grace” after he captured the Cage Warriors featherweight title a couple months shy of his 22nd birthday. He lost two of his next three fights and realized he needed to sort out the kinds of people he kept close to him.

Paddy Pimblett of England celebrates his submission victory over Kazula Vargas of Mexico in a lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 19: (L-R) Paddy Pimblett of England celebrates his submission victory over Kazula Vargas of Mexico in a lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at O2 Arena on March 19, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)


He keeps a small circle these days despite his expanding profile, citing his family, friends, fiancée and team at Next Generation MMA in Liverpool as the ones who have his ear. 

Speaking of Next Generation MMA, Pimblett and teammate “Meatball” Molly McCann share a fight card for the third consecutive time, something they relish. The “package deal” whose sibling-like bond wins fans over by the minute had something of a breakout at UFC Fight Night: Volkov vs Aspinall. Although they had already become a fan-favorite duo following Pimblett’s debut, their night in London skyrocketed them to new heights. McCann scored her first UFC finish with a spinning elbow that should contend for the best knockout of 2022, and she returned cageside for Pimblett’s fight and subsequent celebration in the Octagon. 

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July 23 provides an opportunity for the duo to complete a three-peat of sorts as McCann takes on Hannah Goldy two fights before Pimblett makes his walk.

“We’re here to take over,” Pimblett said. “We’re not messing about. We’re here to cash checks and snap necks as people like to say. Another bonus each incoming after Saturday night. I’m predicting two knockouts for the pair of us. We’ve both been looking slick in the gym, both been landing our strikes brilliantly, and I can’t see where our opponents even test us on the feet.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 19: Paddy Pimblett of England and Molly McCann of England celebrate his submission victory over Kazula Vargas of Mexico in a lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at O2 Arena on March 19, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 19: Paddy Pimblett of England and Molly McCann of England celebrate his submission victory over Kazula Vargas of Mexico in a lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at O2 Arena on March 19, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)


For as confident as Pimblett is for the both of them, Leavitt is his toughest test on paper. With a 10-1 record in tow, Leavitt could challenge Pimblett on the ground although the Liverpudlian is well-versed on the ground, as his eight submission wins prove. 

On the whole, Pimblett believes he is going to “steamroll” Leavitt and finish things in the first round despite the fact that Leavitt hasn’t been stopped as a pro. Pimblett more or less dismisses Leavitt’s striking skills, but he does appreciate the ambivalent attitude of the Las Vegas native.

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“He doesn’t give a flying f*** what anyone thinks about him,” Pimblett said. “I’m the same. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me. People can say what they want about me, but it’s not going to help him on Saturday night…I do think both of my last opponents were better and could test me more on the feet. I don’t think he can test me on the feet at all. People are going on about his grappling, and his grappling isn’t on my level. 

“It doesn’t matter where the fight goes. I am better everywhere.”

Paddy Pimblett trains at the UFC Performance Institute on September 1, 2021. (Photo by Zac Pacleb)

Paddy Pimblett trains at the UFC Performance Institute on September 1, 2021. (Photo by Zac Pacleb)


Some people might shrink or waver under the bright lights. Some can block everything out and perform as they normally would. Others, however, prosper in the biggest moments, and although Pimblett isn’t yet competing in the Top 15 or for title contention at present, he is passing the tests presented to him with flying colors. Pimblett believes those lights might get a little too bright for Leavitt, who hasn’t fought in front of a proper UFC crowd in his career, something Pimblett believes will have an effect. 

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As always, for all the talk, it’s up to Pimblett to live up to his own predictions and flourish in the moment. It’s safe to assume he is going to enjoy every bit of it despite the eyeballs that are as eager to see him fall as they are to see him win, but don’t call that pressure around him. In his mind, the outcome is already certain. All that’s left is for him to show up and execute. 

“(Leavitt’s) head is going to fall off,” Pimblett said. “I know it is. He's going to s*** his undies, and I’m going to put it on him, and I’m going to close the show real soon.”

UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs Aspinall took place live from the at The O2 Arena in London on Saturday, July 23, 2022. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards, and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass