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OutKick’s Mike Gunz had an exclusive interview with Paddy “The Baddy” Pimblett (19-3) ahead of this weekend’s UFC 282 coheadline fight that will have the lightweight grappler take on Jared Gordon (19-5).
MMA fans haven’t seen a fighter like Paddy in some time. He’s bringing in both the casual fanbase and diehard fight fans, similar to how Conor McGregor and Israel Adesanya did.
In our interview, Pimblett mentioned that it’s a new era in the fight world where one not only has to sell themselves in the octagon through dominant performances, but also their personal brand through social media.
“IT’S GOING TO BE THE PADDY SHOW”
“I’m going to come in and steal the show like all times,” Pimblett told me with a straight face. “It’s going to be the Paddy show!”
The British fighter has made quite the name for himself in the UFC already. In just 3 UFC fights, Paddy has earned 3 Performance of the Night Award bonuses for his dominant work that included two first round finishes.
In the interview, he said after Saturday it’ll be 4 POTN awards in a row.
When I pressed him if it’s a coherent thing for a fighter to go into a fight and try to make it entertaining for the fans, Paddy the Baddy had QUITE the response.
“It’s not just about the fight, it’s also about entertaining. I think I’d rather be in a close split-decision loss that got Fight of the Year rather than sit on someone and sniff their balls for 3 rounds.”
“YOU EITHER ADAPT OR YOU DIE”
Be it an athlete, a band, or a celebrity – as one becomes more popular, the trolls and Twitter chirpers become more prevalent.
Paddy’s been dealing with this lately. His answer? Essentially, F them.
“As you said, you either adapt or you die. That’s why you see animals go extinct over time and why fighters go extinct.” And Pimblett isn’t letting any of the haters get to him. “You can’t notice any of that…[I have someone] 10 feet away from me trying to take me out. I’ve got to worry about them and not anybody else.”
PIMBLETT RESPONDS TO ARIEL HELWANI
Earlier this week, Pimblett had UFC President Dana White on his “Chattin Paddy” podcast and the two called out former ESPN and FOX personality Ariel Helwani. Pimblett said that Helwani makes money off of fighters and should pay them to do interviews on his show. “It proper annoys me because he uses fighters for clicks, uses fighters to make money, and then tries to have the audacity to talk about the UFC and yourself, saying, ‘They don’t pay the fighters enough.”
A laughing Dana White didn’t hold back, saying “He’s the biggest f***ing piece of s*** of all time and I couldn’t have said it better. He’s one of the slimiest, scummiest, motherf’ers that you will ever come across.”
On yesterday’s The MMA Hour, Helwani responded with receipts and text messages that show Pimblett reaching out to him when they were in New York City to hang out. Helwani also said that he was taken aback by Pimblett’s manager requesting that Helwani pay the fighter to come on the show, something that Helwani says he would never do because it questions his journalistic integrity.
PIMBELTT REITERRATED HIS CRITICISM OF ARIEL HELWANI
During our interview, Pimblett responded to Helwani’s rebuttal and decided to double down on his stance. “I don’t give a flying F*** [about Helwani],” the UFC lightweight said. “People are telling me to apologize…I’m not going to apologize for speaking facts.”
Paddy goes off on him for about 3 minutes towards the end of our interview and it’s definitely worth checking out.
As you can tell Paddy Pimblett is becoming one of the most talked about UFC fighters and doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.
It will be interesting to see how far his “IDGAF” attitude takes him. Similar to Conor McGregor’s rise – the winners can do as they please and the fans will loyally follow them. But that runs out if they begin losing. We’ll see if Pimblett delivers in the octagon this coming Saturday at UFC 282 from Las Vegas.
Saturday’s PPV is available on ESPN+.