Soren Bak believes Paddy Pimblett’s criticism of the names on his record is completely unfounded.
“The True Viking” will clash with the former Cage Warriors featherweight champion for the promotion’s vacant lightweight title on Saturday in Liverpool. As far as he is concerned, “The Baddy” is the last person who can question the caliber of opponents he has faced up until this point.
“I most definitely do not agree with that, especially when you consider who Paddy has been facing, other than his last fight at lightweight,” Bak told MMA Fighting.
“He’s the last person who should point fingers in that way. The guys I’ve been fighting on Cage Warriors have been cream of the crop and I think they would have been contenders themselves if they had beat me. The bookmakers have me as favorite. I think Paddy and his cronies are the only people who feel that way [about my record].”
Bak is famed for his wrestling ability and his unrelenting top control. Pimblett thinks the opponents that he has faced up until this point have been lacking when it comes to their submission skills, which is considered to be the Liverpudlian’s strength.
Despite Pimblett claiming half of his career wins by submission, Bak insisted that he’s not all that concerned by the hometown hero’s jiu-jitsu game.
“I’m not that worried actually. I think his style perfectly matches my style and I’ve just got to be careful about not getting caught too deep in anything. He’s got to worry about my hands, my feet and my elbows…and then everything on the ground. Even though he claims he’s better at striking, wrestling and jiu-jitsu, he knows that it’s just not true. The way I see it, my game is much more dangerous for Paddy than Paddy’s is for me. Bear in mind, I’ve never been submitted,” Bak explained.
Although Pimblett believes that Bak might be reluctant to take him down given his submission arsenal, Bak is adamant that his signature takedowns are very much a part of his game plan for Saturday night.
“My wrestling is always there and it’s always a part of my plan, but we’ve also taken into consideration Paddy’s weak points. He’s talking about his stand up being better, but I don’t think his stand up is anything to brag about. There are other weaknesses we’ve seen in the clinch and on the ground, we’re going to take whatever we can get,” said Bak.
“I’m not particularly concerned about taking Paddy down because we’ve seen him fighting off his back and thinking he’s winning fights, but he’s actually losing. Look at his title fight against Nad Narimani — a kickboxer took Paddy down for five rounds and was beating on him. There was never any submission threat from Paddy during that fight.”
Although he admitted that it would be extra satisfying to submit Pimblett, he isn’t completely banking on that method of victory.
“I’ll never shy away from a submission if something presents itself. It would be awesome to submit Paddy, but as he said, he is a very accomplished grappler, so I’m not expecting him to give me anything unless I can break his face open first with elbows or knees. You saw what happened against Jacobsen, that wasn’t really a submission, that was just the blood traveling into his throat from his nose.”
Bak is confident that a win over such a high-profile opponent could present offers for some of the world’s biggest MMA promotions.
“As long as there are no title fights scheduled, I should be able to leave if one of the bigger promotions does approach me. I’m in a perfect situation in my life, so if an opportunity comes up, I’m just going to grab it.”