For the first time in his UFC career, it appears that rising lightweight Paddy Pimblett is entering a fight with some animosity towards his opponent.
This weekend, Pimblett, a former Cage Warriors champion and now-budding Octagon star, will look to take over The O2 in England’s capital for the second time this year. At 2022’s first UFC London iteration, “The Baddy” drew the biggest pops of the night, not just for his walkout, but for his first-round submission victory over Rodrigo Vargas.
He’ll look to repeat that feat with the fists on Saturday when he shares the cage with fellow 155-pound prospect Jordan Leavitt on the main card.
But while his pre-fight interactions and words were largely respectful prior to his two outings opposite Vargas and Luigi Vendramini, Pimblett’s third UFC appearance is already far more heated.
Pimblett Reveals How Leavitt Has “Pissed” Him Off Pre-Fight
During UFC London media day on Wednesday, Pimblett certainly didn’t mince his words when assessing the threat of his upcoming opponent, as well as Leavitt’s remarks ever since the fight was announced.
Among his comments, “The Monkey King” has claimed to be offended to be chosen as Pimblett’s next opponent given his ‘easy’ fights to date, targeted more than one victory over the Liverpudlian, and promised to twerk on Pimblett’s home crowd after beating him.
Those comments, as well as a few other dismissive lines, have left “The Baddy” less than amused, even to the point where Pimblett stated that he won’t be touching gloves with Leavitt come fight night.
“Yeah, he has, he’s pissed me off, lad. I didn’t mind him when the fight got announced. I really didn’t mind him,” Pimblett said. “Like, he had 12,000 followers and he’s now got 30,000 just off the back of my name, from people who don’t like me. He’s got loads of followers. His followers have nearly tripled just ’cause people don’t like me.
“He can’t throw a punch to save his life, lad. He doesn’t come into fights to win, he comes not to lose… He’s chatting all this shite, and because of it — I always touch gloves, but I’m not touching gloves with this little mushroom,” Pimblett added. “He can talk all the shite he wants, lad, but he knows full well, when that cage door gets shut, I’m gonna come out and I’m gonna take that head home with me.”
When asked whether he’s ever held so much hostility towards an opponent, Pimblett noted that Leavitt has pushed him to new limits in that regard, and the Liverpool native is looking to make him pay for it.
“I’ve never really been pissed off leading up to a fight. Vendramini and Vargas were pretty respectful, as I was to them. But he’s a little maggot and I’m gonna proper batter him for it. I’ve never come into a fight wanting to hurt my opponent. I’m gonna hurt him,” Pimblett asserted.
How do you think the fight between Paddy Pimblett and Jordan Leavitt will play out at UFC London?