The highly anticipated debut of Paddy ‘The Baddy’ Pimblett certainly delivered. Although the chaotic fight against Luigi Vendramini lasted just over four minutes, a lot of questions about the newcomer got answered.
A former Cagewarriors champion, Pimblett arrived to the UFC as an experienced competitor. He had the option to join the UFC in both 2016 and 2018, but opted to gain more experience and further his development as a mixed martial artist before making the jump to the big leagues. The decision was either a sign of his maturity, a sign that he is surrounded by good people, or a mix of both. Whatever the case may be, it was worth the wait, because Pimblett’s long-awaited first appearance in the UFC was a hit.
Facing a tough-as-nails lightweight with good boxing skills in Luigi Vendramini, Pimblett showed no hesitation when the ref said go. He opened up the contest with relaxed body language and was as composed as can be. Landing low leg kicks, kicks to the body and even a switch kick to show off the diversity of his tool belt.
— UFC (@ufc) September 4, 2021
However, less than 30 seconds into the contest, the commentary team of Michael Bisping and Daniel Cormier were pointing out a bad defensive tendency of Pimblett.
Lo and behold, moments after the critique, Vendramini steps in and uncorks a massive left hook, catching Pimblett flush and putting him in serious trouble less than one minute into his first fight in the show. After being taken down and absorbing some impactful punches from the top, Pimblett eventually scrambled back to his feet, regained his composure and proceeded to push forward.
Amidst the subsequent firefight that took place, Pimblett landed an uppercut, recognized his opponent was in danger, and stepped forward with a violent flurry and fight-ending intentions. The barrage of offense dropped Vendramini, Pimblett followed up with more fury and ended the fight in highly dramatic fashion.
The outcome for Pimblett couldn’t have been better. In a small window of time, he experienced adversity after getting hurt and taking a lot of damage. But responded by getting back to his feet and rallying back with some aggressive combinations to score the TKO victory. His first UFC fight started with getting critique from the commentary team, but finished with being showered with praise from former champions on the call.
— UFC (@ufc) September 4, 2021
The damage taken by Pimblett was a cause for concern, Bisping’s and D.C’s commentary was dead on. Pimblett was clearly lunging forward with his chin in the air each time he jabbed. Although he is no stranger to absorbing significant damage in his fights and still winning, that sort of tendency is something he will not get away with against the upper echelon of the UFC Lightweight division.
But the potential he has shown both inside and outside of the cage is substantial. Pimblett has all of the attributes that the UFC tends to deem worthy of putting their promotional machine behind. Especially given that he has already proven to have lot of fanfare in the U.K. Paddy ‘The Baddy’ is right up the UFC’s alley.
Days before the event on Dana Whites “If you don’t know now you know” segment, White said that it would be fun to go back to the U.K with this kid. After such an impressive victory, an event in the U.K featuring Pimblett will be high up on the “To do” list at UFC headquarters.
Remember this name, Paddy the Baddy! 🙌
— UFC (@ufc) September 5, 2021
Pimblett is an added element of intrigue to arguably the UFC’s most talent-rich division. There are a lot of great fights to be had for the Scouser at 155. Here’s to hoping that the fanbase and matchmakers don’t get ahead of themselves.
Time and time again we’ve seen fighters take too big of a step up in competition. In this sport, hype trains get derailed every other event. It’s not about Pimblett getting favorable matchups, it’s just about taking the next progressive step up the ladder in competition.
But if Pimblett’s approach to joining the UFC is any indication of how he plans to handle his future matchups, the trajectory of his career will be a steady build into something special. A high probability of achieving major success, and an opportunity to set a good example for the next generation in the process.