Monday, August 8, 2022

Chandler: Those Criticizing Paddy Pimblett Are Just “Haters”

Former UFC lightweight title challenger Michael Chandler has taken notice of Paddy Pimblett’s meteoric rise in the 155lb division.

Pimblett earned a third-straight UFC win over Jordan Leavitt on the main card of UFC London on Saturday. He’s now won five straight in stints with Cage Warriors and now in the UFC.

Chandler, like Pimblett, has risen to the role of UFC fan favorite following a series of recent wins. He’s coming off of a wild knockout of Tony Ferguson at UFC 274 and knocked out Dan Hooker in his UFC debut at UFC 257.

Chandler could be one win away from another potential lightweight title shot after falling to Charles Oliveira for the then-vacant lightweight belt at UFC 262. As he moves closer to potentially earning a UFC title, he’s keeping an eye on divisional up-and-comers like Pimblett, who are looking to break into the rankings.

Michael Chandler Hits Back At Paddy Pimblett’s Detractors

© Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports © Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

During his UFC London guest fighter press conference, Chandler explained what makes Pimblett a name to watch in the coming years.

“He’s great,” Chandler said of Pimblett. “Paddy and I have been in contact a little bit. He’s a guy who’s in that perfect position where I’m the guy, I’m gonna be the champion here in the next 12 months. He’s going to be nipping at my heels, coming into the Top 15, coming into the Top 10. But I don’t have the scarcity of mindset when it comes to other guys in my division, especially when I see guys who are doing it the right way, in my opinion.

“He’s a marketable guy, he’s a happy guy, he’s a fun guy, he’s fun to watch, fun on the microphone. He’s the total package. People can hate on him all they want, but they’re just being haters because Paddy Pimblett’s the total package. Can he put it all together inside the Octagon… and continue to keep winning? We’ll see.”

While Pimblett is beloved in the UK, a portion of the UFC fanbase has been turned off by Pimblett’s brashness and weight ballooning in between fights. While he’s looked impressive so far in the Octagon, some believed he hasn’t faced the high-quality competition necessary for him to have the opportunity to silence his doubters.

Chandler has also turned into a marketable presence in the UFC due to his skills on the microphone and in the Octagon. A 30-fight veteran, Chandler knows potential when he sees it and seems to be giving Pimblett his endorsement amidst some scrutiny from fans.

A matchup between Chandler and Pimblett could potentially happen down the line, but it’s clear that Chandler has a tremendous amount of respect for the streaking British star.

Do you agree with Michael Chandler’s take on Paddy Pimblett?

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