Pimblett will make his return to the Octagon this weekend at UFC London against Kazula Vargas. The former Cage Warriors featherweight champion earned a first-round knockout over Luigi Vendramini in his UFC debut last September.
Pimblett has been known to up the ante when it comes to his trash talk and mental warfare. He’s also managed to get under the skin of fighters that aren’t his opponents, including most recently with Ilia Topuria.
During an appearance on the BT Sport Live Preview Show for UFC London, White gave his thoughts on Pimblett and his potential but also hinted that the prospect should worry about his in-flight performances.
“Yeah, he’s fun. He’s a fun guy. Smack talk’s fun, but you’ve gotta win,” White said of Pimblett. “So, you know, everybody keeps talking about the excitement of the walkout and all this stuff, you gotta win fights. Believe me, he comes in, has an incredible walkout and the crowd goes crazy, and he wins? Awesome… He’s one of those guys that has that thing and he has the potential to be a star. But, here, you gotta win fights. It’s not just about being popular (and) how many people like you. You’ve gotta get in there and win.”
Pimblett was one of the biggest signings by the UFC in 2021 following back-to-back wins in Cage Warriors over Davide Martinez and Decky Dalton. He’s been tabbed by some as the ‘people’s main event’ against Vargas at UFC London.
Pimblett has been tabbed by some as a potential future UFC box office star at the levels of Conor McGregor, Jorge Masvidal, and others. McGregor has recently called Pimblett a “great representation for the UK”.
Pimblett has never been short of confidence, as evident by his recent claim that he’ll never get knocked out in the UFC. However, a loss to Vargas could erase the momentum and star power that he has already accumulated.
Do you think Paddy Pimblett has what it takes to be a UFC champion?