Is Paddy Pimblett Worthy of the Hype?

Paddy Pimblett, better known as Paddy the Baddy, is an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter from Liverpool, England. The Mixed martial Arts star began competing at the age of 14, where he went on to join Next Generation MMA and moved onto Cage Warriors, by the time he was 18.

He signed a contract with UFC in 2021 and had his first fight in UFC Fight Night 191 where he defeated Luigi Vendramini via knockout in the first round.

Pimblett has become a favorite with fans as well as in the UFC betting with his impressive record, winning all four of his fights to date.

With the fans he is easy to warm to, his signature floppy hair and lack of tattoos makes him a different sort of fighter. He gives the appearance that he’s just like everyone else, just having trained hard to get where he is. This makes it easier to identify with him for many young people getting into UFC, whether it’s just watching or competing.

He is outspoken on his support for Liverpool F.C, his passionate post-fight comments on men’s mental health, alongside his exhilarating performances in the octagon made him an overnight sensation.

The Man, The Myth, The Joker

So quickly into his UFC career he has risen to the top of the popularity charts in the UFC with his comical approach. Many UFC fighters take themselves very seriously, which Pimblett is more down to earth and well rounded.

As much as he will continue to fight to reach the top of the sport, his popularity is not defined by his performances in the octagon. Pimblett won his first fight by knockout, before moving on the fight Kazula Vargas in March 2022. He won his second fight in UFC but submission, using a Rear Naked Choke to seal the victory in the first round.

The same move secured him his third successive win in July 2022 when he took on Jordan Leavitt, this time in the second round.

Pimblett recently won his fourth UFC fight against Jared Gordon by unanimous decision, though this has been surrounded in controversy.

UFC 282 saw Paddy “The Baddy” defeat Jared Gordon despite commentator Joe Rogan apparently informing the Gordon that he had won moments before the scorecards were read out.

An investigation has since been launched into Doug Crosby, one of the judges from the fight, following a scorecard that he gave just a day before at a Bellator event in California.

The controversy around the fight is highlighted further from comments made by Jared Gordon on the Believe You Me podcast – “When the fight was over, I’m like, alright I did enough. Joe Rogan was like, ‘yeah you got this, you got this’ Joe is saying it, I guess I won. When they said his name, I was like ‘the world is conspiring against me’.

This was the first fight in Pimblett’s short UFC career that has gone the full distance and been decided by points.

Pimbletts fight with Gordon was a co-main event fight in UFC 282 which saw The Baddy give two rounds to Gordons one by all three judges.

While there is controversy, Pimblett has doubled down and fought back saying “fights get scored on damage now, and I landed a lot more damage”.

With a blackbelt in Brazilian Ju-Jitzu he uses a risky style of fighting. A ruthlessly aggressive fighter, he fights with all his emotion.

He has quick hands which can pack serious power, but his defensive ability is questioned. His fights often rely upon quick recovery, he is seen by some as a fun, action fighter but once he comes up against the good athletes and disciplined fighters, his rise could take a sharp turn.

While he is still only 27 years old, he has been fighting for around 10 years, which suggests he has struggled to adapt his defensive abilities to reach the top of the sport. To break into the top-25 fighters list, he will need to quickly adapt his style to cope with the elite level talent in UFC.

In UFC though, success and stardom don’t always go hand in hand with defeating the best of the best. Pimblett has charm, he is fun to watch, and he is an excellent self-promoter. By entertaining crowds, especially in England where the fans have a new star and one so easy to back is perfect for him.

There are so many fighters from countries like the United States or Brazil that the English public will be able to back Paddy “The Baddy” with vigor, which will be no doubt exploited as much as possible by UFC.

Should he adapt his style, it may make his fights less exciting, but this is a decision Pimblett will need to make on where he wants his career to go.

Right now, he may not be the best, but he has an army of fans and all the attention he can handle, which he often does to push for good, especially with his mental health advocacy.