Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Leavitt On UK Crowd: ‘How Drunk Can They Be At 9PM?’

UFC lightweight Jordan Leavitt has reassured himself that making the walk inside London’s The O2 arena won’t be a problem so early in the night.

On today’s card, which will mark the UFC’s second visit across the pond to the UK this year, Leavitt will be stepping out of his confident zone with his first fight on foreign soil. And when it comes to hostile territory, it doesn’t get much worse than a fight against Paddy Pimblett in front of the Liverpudlian’s home crowd.

Nevertheless, “The Monkey God” isn’t intimidated, and has even welcomed the “riots” that could ensure if he bring out his trademark moves and twerking following an upset victory over “The Paddy.”

Jordan Leavitt
Image Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

But while he’s expecting a reaction to his post-fight antics, should he have the chance to bust them out, Leavitt is expecting it to be a sober one.

As a Brit myself, no comment.

During his appearance at UFC London media day on Wednesday, Leavitt noted that he’s fought in front of bigger crowds before entering the UFC, where he’s only fought inside Las Vegas’ Apex facility, and questioned how drunk fans in attendance could even get by 9PM.

“It’s just 20,000 people. The O2 is smaller than the Thomas and Mack (Center). I fought in front of a bigger crowd for my third amateur fight,” Leavitt said. “And I’ve dealt with a lot of drunk people. It’s just 9PM, so how drunk can they be? They’ll have to show me. But I’m not too worried about it. Social media, followers, hometown — that’s all white noise, a placebo effect. I can decide if it affects me.”

Oh Jordan, you innocent soul. Hint, the answer is ‘very’…

Pimblett Answers The Question

Be it for a morning start at Test cricket match, an evening kick off at the football (often wrongly termed ‘soccer’ by some…), or a night of fights, the British public never fail to get appropriately “sloshed” before and during a sporting event.

And Pimblett believes that’s a lesson Leavitt may learn the hard way come Saturday night when he makes the walk inside The O2.

Responding to Leavitt’s query during his own appearance at media day, Pimblett cited the plans of his mates attending the fight, who appear set to be “in a mess” by the time the Liverpool native enters the Octagon.

“Well, lad. It’s funny, ’cause that got put in my group chat with my mates before,” Pimblett said. ‘Me mate Jack, one of me closest mates, put, ‘Hah, is he messing? I’ll be in a mess by nine o’clock. What’s he on about?’ So, what’s he on about, lad?

“All my mates will be in a mess by then; absolutely sloshed… That’s what I mean, he’s only ever fought in the Apex. He’s never fought anywhere else. He’s never fought with a crowd,” Pimblett added. “Now he’s fighting with my crowd. His head’s gonna fall off.”

Perhaps Leavitt hasn’t done his research ahead of his first trip abroad. If he had, he might have come across a certain Post-UFC London clip from earlier this year that shows the joyous, and likely drunk, crowd singing the name of headline winner Tom Aspinall.

Oh, and there’s a man on top of a police van. Of course.

Is Jordan Leavitt underestimating the drinking abilities of UK MMA fans?

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