Having joined the UFC roster in 2021, Pimblett now has the privilege of having a front-row seat alongside his fellow stars at pay-per-view events. He made full use of that treatment for the final PPV card of last year, headlined by Oliveira’s first title defense.
Having won the vacant belt earlier in the year with a memorable comeback against Michael Chandler, “Do Bronx” was looking to legitimize his place on the lightweight throne and his championship credentials, something the likes of Justin Gaethje and a portion of The UFC fanbase doubted.
He answered their questions in emphatic fashion by locking in a standing rear-naked choke in the third round that forced Poirier to tap out.
Pimblett Fancies His Chances Opposite “The Diamond”
In the eyes of most, the win cemented Oliveira’s place as the best lightweight in the world right now. A victory over Poirier, a heavy favourite heading into the clash and the consensus best 155lber leading into UFC 269, certainly seems worthy of securing that title. However, one future star in the division had a different takeaway from the result.
During a recent appearance on Michael Bisping’s Believe You Me podcast, “The Baddy” suggested Oliveira’s ability to take Poirier’s back and lock in a submission has convinced him he’d be able to find the same success against the former interim titleholder.
“I went with Poirier over Oliveira. And lad, after watching that fight as well, I’m watching that thinking, ‘Lad, if Oliveira can do that to you Dustin, I can.’ It’s mad like, when you watch (it), MMA math doesn’t work, but when you watch fights, you’re just like, ‘Wow, if he can do that and get in that position, then fucking I can.'”
While Pimblett certainly has a long way to go before he joins the same conversations as Poirier, he is highly touted by many. That includes by his fellow Englishman Bisping, who believes he has the confidence and mindset to one day become a champion on MMA’s biggest stage.
After impressing on debut with a first-round knockout against Luigi Vendramini, “The Baddy” will be hoping for similar success in 2022, a year he aims to fight three times in. That looks set to start on March 19, a card targeted to be the promotion’s return to London, England.
How do you think Paddy Pimblett would fare inside the Octagon against Dustin Poirier?