Israel Adesanya is a fan of Paddy Pimblett but wants to see him face harder competition.
UFC London is coming up this weekend and many UK UFC stars will be on display. Paddy Pimblett is not headlining this event, but he is definitely one of the biggest draws on the card.
Pimblett will be making his second appearance in the UFC Octagon, and the Liverpool native will be doing it in front of a near hometown crowd. The media and many fans have embraced Pimblett and have made him a quickly rising star. Even middleweight champion Israel Adesanya is a fan.
Adesanya spoke a bit about Pimblett on his YouTube channel and how he feels he should be approaching his UFC career. First, he brought up the fact that Pimblett is not a fan of extravagant walkouts but then hit a little closer to home.
“He should do that. I dare him to do a f–king whole entrance on the biggest fight of his life,” Adesanya said on his YouTube channel (via MMA Fighting). “I’m not talking this fight — this ain’t the biggest fight of his life. He’s fighting a motherf–ker that’s 1-2 [in the UFC]. He’s getting fed a bum. I dare him to try something like that, and then fight, and do what I did.”
Adesanya Compares His Rise To Pimblett’s
Adesanya is referring to Pimblett’s opponent for his homecoming bout at UFC London, Kazula Vargas. Vargas is not a newcomer to MMA. He has been fighting professionally since 2011. However, he has had a tough go of it in the UFC so far in going 1-2 but is coming off a win his last time out. This, Adesanya says, pales in comparison to the competition he faced during his own rise up the UFC ranks.
“I like what he’s doing. I like the haircut, and I like how he’s owning everything and just telling it like it is. He’s speaking his truth,” Adesanya said of Pimblett. “They’re building him up. This is the thing: when I got to the UFC when I jumped in, I was ready to fight the [most] dangerous people of the division, and they threw me right in there against a grappler who was going to grapple me — at least, that’s what he tried to do. Second fight, I’m fighting blockhead [Marvin Vettori], third fight, I fight a top-ranked guy, top-10, f–k, third fight. Look, you can be a hype train but there’s levels.”
Adesanya did indeed jump right into the deep section of the UFC middleweight division when he joined the organization. He makes a good case for hurrying up the ladder, but the UFC has a tendency of slowly bringing new fighters into fighting ranked opponents, especially ones who could become stars such as Pimblett.
Adesanya fought Anderson Silva in his fifth UFC fight and fought for a title in his sixth. That may not be the right path for Pimblett, especially in such a stacked division at lightweight.
Do you agree with Israel Adesanya about Paddy Pimblett?