MMA fans have waited half a decade for this day and it is finally upon us, Paddy ‘The Baddy’ Pimblett makes his UFC debut this Saturday in Las Vegas at the Apex.
He opens up the main card against Brazilian Luigi Vendramini on a card that is stacked with British talent and he may just prove to be the best of the lot.
This event was put together with the intention of being held in London in front of a full O2 Arena which would have been the perfect coming out party for the scouser. But with the UFC unable to get isolation rules waived for their non-UK staff, the party is postponed for now and Pimblett will have to prove his hype in a venue without fans.
It’s a massive shame for ‘The Baddy’ but probably more for the UFC themselves that they can’t showcase their new star in front of a fanatic crowd.
His well known walkout to his own mash up of songs will get any UFC attendance pumped but starting off in front of a home crowd would have been a perfect way to introduce the future lightweight contender.
That won’t affect Paddy when the cage is shut though. His last two fights were behind closed doors which both resulted in first round stoppages and he’s expecting similar this weekend.
Speaking to Mike Owens Media, Pimblett said ‘I’m gonna put it on him in a big way and he’s getting finished in one or two, I’m getting that performance bonus.” This match up certainly gives him that chance.
Vendramini doesn’t shy away from a fight and will meet Paddy in the middle if he wants to, but it will likely come down to whether Vendramini can deal with the Scousers unique and awkward grappling.
Pimblett is so quick, extremely flexible and can throw up submission attempts when you least expect it. Don’t be surprised to see him attempt a few on Saturday.
Vendramini though has plenty of motivation for this fight. Having lost in his last outing he is now 1-2 in the UFC and has admitted his only win kept him from getting a ‘normal job’, for the time being at least. A loss would mean one win in four and a likely cut from the roster on the horizon.
Should Paddy get the debut win, he’ll no doubt make the most of his interview post fight with Michael Bisping and have a well rehearsed call out prepared. Now it’s confirmed he’ll be contending in the lightweight division too, there’s plenty of names there to do so.
Pimblett is adamant he’s on his way to superstar status and insists he’s here to takeover much similar to a previous former two-weight Cage Warriors champion, Conor McGregor.
The comparisons with the Irish superstar aren’t just throw away comments. ‘The Baddy’ has all the attributes to become a household name and have a long and successful UFC career and this Saturday evening is the start of that journey.