Friday, June 24, 2022

Paddy Pimblett Returns To London, Faces Jordan Leavitt On July 23

For the second time this year, Paddy Pimblett is set to make the walk to the Octagon in front of his home crowd.

After his success in England’s capital in March, lightweight prospect Pimblett will be looking to bring the party to London once again on July 23. On Friday, the promotion confirmed that “The Baddy” will share the cage inside The O2 with Dana White‘s Contender Series alum Jordan Leavitt.

Despite only debuting in 2021, Pimblett (18-3) has certainly grown into a prominent name on MMA’s biggest stage. The former Cage Warriors champion promised to steal the show at UFC London earlier this year, both with a memorable walkout and his performance. With the crowd reaction and his first-round submission win against Rodrigo “Kazula” Vargas, it’s hard to argue that he did just that.

Now, having gotten off to a 2-0 start inside the Octagon, both of which came via first-round finishes, Pimblett is set for perhaps his toughest test to date in the form of Leavitt (10-1), who perhaps comes as a surprise opponent given that Ottman Azaitar appeared to be lined up to face the Liverpudlian in a recent matchmaking leak.

After earning a contract with an impressive and quick arm-triangle choke submission against Jose Flores on DWCS, “The Monkey God” made a statement on debut in December 2020, knocking Matt Wiman out with a brutal slam.

While a defeat to Claudio Puelles, which has aged well given the Peruvian’s recent form, provided a brief setback, Leavitt’s victories over Matt Sayles and Trey Ogden since have earned him a featured spot on the UFC London 2.0 card opposite one of the fastest-rising names in the sport.

Given Leavitt’s talented grappling and submission talents, he’ll likely pose a unique threat to Pimblett, and one that we’ve yet to see “The Baddy” face in the UFC.

With Pimblett’s celebration last time out and Leavitt’s always-entertaining dance routine post-fight, it stands to reason that The O2 crowd will be in for some moves regardless of who has their hand raised on July 23.

The current fights expected to take place at UFC London on July 23 are as follows:

Tom Aspinall vs. Curtis Blaydes (heavyweight main event)

Darren Till vs. Jack Hermansson (middleweight)

Paddy Pimblett vs. Jordan Leavitt (lightweight)

Alexander Gustafsson vs. Nikita Krylov (light heavyweight)

Molly McCann vs. Hannah Goldy (women’s flyweight)

Paul Craig vs. Volkan Oezdemir (light heavyweight)

Muhammad Mokaev vs. Charles Johnson (flyweight)

Makwan Amirkhani vs. Jonathan Pearce (featherweight)

Marc Diakiese vs. Damir Hadzovic (lightweight)

Nicolas Dalby vs. Claudio Silva (welterweight)

Mandy Böhm vs. Victoria Leonardo (women’s flyweight)

Who do you think will have their hand raised at UFC London, Paddy Pimblett or Jordan Leavitt?

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