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Paddy Pimblett doubts he’ll return to 145, thinks Soren Bak’s opponents ‘made him look good’

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Dolly Clew, Cage Warriors

Paddy Pimblett will look to become the first man since Conor McGregor to win two Cage Warriors titles when he takes on Soren Bak at Cage Warriors 96 on Saturday in Liverpool.

A former promotional featherweight champion, “The Baddy” will look to add the vacant lightweight title to his resume when he faces off against “The True Viking” at the Echo Arena.

Although Bak (11-1-0) has been in sensational form, claiming three wins in three tests with Cage Warriors, Pimblett believes that his opponents have made him look a lot better than he actually is.

Pimblett (14-2-0) has noticed that Bak has been able to evade submission attempts from his various opponents over the years, but the Next Generation Liverpool fighter insisted, “I’ll put his arse to sleep”, if he’s given a similar opportunity.

“I see weaknesses everywhere,” Pimblett told MMA Fighting. “I don’t think he’s better than me anywhere. I’ve got better wrestling, I’ve got better striking and I’ve got better jiu-jitsu than him.

“He’s just going to do what he does in all of his fights, come out and shoot straightaway. He might not do that with me because all of his other opponents have had no jiu-jitsu. He usually just gets hit with a jab and then shoots in, if he does that to me it will end up as another submission win for me.

“I’ve seen him sit in some chokes before, fair play to him. But he’s going to be tapping if I put a choke on him. This isn’t like getting choked by some blue belt from Poland or something, I’ll just put his arse to sleep.”

Pimblett thinks fans and media need to look beyond the numbers on Bak’s record and look at the names of his opponents, some of whom he believes were beyond their sell-by dates.

“I really do feel like his opponents have made him look good. Half of my record is a who’s who of European MMA. People take a quick look at records and they don’t give them a lot of thought. There were so many people criticizing my last opponent Alexis Savvidis, his record didn’t look good at first glance but he had about 25 professional fights. He fought a lot of good people,” he said.

“They look at Bak’s record and all they see is 11-1, but I don’t think he’s beat anyone. He’s beat Alexander Jacobsen to get him the title shot and he beat old Scott Clist who doesn’t know what jiu-jitsu is, I don’t know if he’s ever trained in it before. He beat old man Stapleton too whose sell-by date was about seven years ago.”

While Pimblett initially claimed that he intended to move back down to featherweight after winning the lightweight title, with the announcement of a featherweight tournament, he doubts he will return to his old stomping ground.

“That’s what I wanted to do, but I half feel like the featherweight belt is still mine. I wanted to go back down after this fight and then I saw that there has been a tournament announced. Some of those guys have beat my teammates so I would’ve loved to beat some of them up. Because they’re doing that tournament, the two finalists are going to fight each other, so I don’t really think it makes sense. If one of the finalists drops out, I’ll happily jump in and beat the other guy,” he said.

“I’m going to weigh the options up after this fight. I don’t think I need to go down and get that belt again after winning the lightweight title. That’s happening, I’ve said it since I was 18 and now it’s going to come full circle.”