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The Unstoppable Rise Of Paddy 'The Baddy' Pimblett

John Balfe
By John Balfe
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There is something about that Cage Warriors featherweight belt. The strap, which was one half of the championships that Conor McGregor earned inside their cage prior to his move to the UFC, seeems to continually find itself around the waist of some of the most interesting fighters in European MMA. 

Last weekend at CWFC 78 Paddy 'The Baddy' Pimblett took home the CWFC featherweight strap in from of his hometown crowd and, much like his Irish counterpart, the sky seems to be the limit for the 21-year-old Liverpudlian. A pro since the age of 17, Pimblett has mostly been known as a grappler but he has his striking to thank for capturing the Cage Warriors belt - a frist round TKO of Johnny Frachey (see below).

There seems to be a sense of history repeating itself when it comes to Pimblett. Much like McGregor, 'The Baddy' is already calling his shots, visualising the journey he is about to take before it happens. He has said he is going to be a two weight world champion in the UFC. He has also claimed that he will "drag" the UFC to Liverpool.

Does this sound familiar to you?


None of this is to say that Pimblett is deliberately aping McGregor in some sort of coat-tail hanger-on sense. You get the impression from listening to him speak that Pimblett has his career trajectory already plotted and any resemblence to that of Conor McGregor - or anyone else for that matter - is mere coincidence.


As quoted by The42 earlier this year, Pimblett is quick to distance himself from any comparisons with 'The Notorious'.

I’m not following him at all. He can leg it. I’ve wanted to be a two-weight world champion in the UFC since long before he was talking about it. That’s my ultimate goal. No one has set any example for me. I’m my own man.

I know I’m capable of beating [McGregor]. And I know I’m going to do it. I can see that big UFC strap around my waist within the next three years. If I fight McGregor I know I’m subbing him inside three rounds.

One prominent bookmaker has offered odds of 5/1 of Pimblett besting McGregor before the year 2020 and thrown down a charity bet of £2,000 (in aid of Fighting Autism) that he can pull it off - a wager, which Pimblett would say, it like getting free money.

Back in 2012, Conor McGregor won the Cage Warriors featherweight belt from Dave Hill and followed that up with a knockout of Ivan Buchinger to claim the lightweight title in his next bout - his final under the CWFC banner before being snapped up by the UFC. Pimblett is almost certainly on the radar of UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby, the only question is whether they pull the trigger on signing him now or wait it out for another few bouts.

Pimblett escaped from his last bout unscathed and would be ready should he be called upon by the UFC who, of course, have a date in Belfast on November 19th. It might perhaps be a better option though to hold Pimblett in reserve until the UFC can schedule an event in Liverpool, such was the reception that 'The Baddy' received from the 4,000 fight fans crammd into the Echo Arena in Liverpool last weekend.

'The Baddy' is a bona fide star in that part of the world and any UFC show with him booked there could be a star-making turn for the 21-year-old.


Pimblett, though, is in no rush and appears willing to let the cards fall where they may. Speaking to FloCombat after his win last weekend, 'The Baddy' says he's very aware of where his ultimate destination will be but he's not going to force the issue.

The UFC is one of the goals on the way and I know it's going to happen. It doesn't matter when it is. I really don't mind, I'd fight on Cage Warriors for 10 more fights if I need to.

You'd suspect that it won't take nearly that amount of time before Paddy Pimblett is fighting under the bright lights of the UFC. And, whenever it happens, it won't be a second too soon.

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