UFC lightweight Paddy Pimblett has rejected the idea that he’ll be fast-tracked up the promotional ladder. “The Baddy” says he won’t fight a top-10 opponent without a new lucrative contract first.
Pimblett broke onto MMA’s biggest stage last month at UFC Vegas 36, which was a showcase of European talent. Having signed months prior, the Liverpool native’s debut was highly anticipated, and it certainly didn’t disappoint.
In the main card opener, Pimblett faced Luigi Vendramini. The Brazilian wasn’t given much of a chance heading into the bout, but he came ready to fight and provided a tough early challenge for the Englishman. The 25-year-old appeared to rock Pimblett on the feet early in the opening round, and even landed a takedown on the grappling ace. Despite his quick start, Vendramini’s success was short-lived.
After finding his rhythm, Pimblett put his striking prowess on display and knocked his first UFC opponent out inside the opening frame, as he had predicted ahead of his promotional debut.
Since his memorable first appearance in the Octagon, attention has turned to who is next opponent may be. While some expect him to experience a steady rise in competition early in his career, others believe he could be fast-tracked towards the 155-pound rankings sooner rather than later.
During an appearance on the Anything Goes with James English podcast, Pimblett rejected the idea that he could fight a top name next time out. That’s not because he doesn’t believe in his abilities, but because he isn’t willing to meet a man like Tony Ferguson without securing a significantly improved contract first.
“Fuck that. I’m not fighting a top-10 on the money I’m on, lad… Nick Peet was saying he’d like to see me against Tony Ferguson. And, lad, I’d like to see me against Tony Ferguson, but not on the contract I’m on now. Fuck that. Get paid that money to fight Tony Ferguson, lad. Yeah, he’s still one of the best 155ers in the world, lad. I want fucking six figures, lad, then I’m fighting him” (h/t Sportskeeda).
Since extending a lengthy win streak to 11 in 2019 with a victory over Donald Cerrone, Ferguson has lost three straight inside the Octagon. After an interim title bout with Justin Gaethje saw him dominated like nobody had managed to do beforehand, “El Cucuy” fell to similar comfortable defeats at the hands of current UFC Lightweight Champion Charles Oliveira and top-three contender Beneil Dariush.
With the veteran’s losing skid and slide down the rankings, and Pimblett’s opposite trajectory, perhaps we’ll see the two charismatic and unique personalities clash later down the line.
On terms of Paddy Pimblett’s next step in the UFC, the Liverpudlian appeared to accept Jared Gordon’s recent post-fight callout on Twitter. After defeating Joe Solecki during the UFC Vegas 38 prelims, Gordon demonstrated Pimblett’s own post-fight prediction. “The Baddy” said he didn’t need to call anyone out because other lightweights would be having his name in their mouth now.
Despite not being one of the bigger names in the division, “Flash” would certainly represent a step up in competition for Pimblett. He’s also riding a three-fight win streak in the UFC that includes a victory over another former Cage Warriors champion in Chris Fishgold. A clash with Gordon seems like a fairly logical next step for the UFC’s newest sensation.
Who would you like to see Paddy Pimblett face next in the Octagon?