Soren Bak claims that the crowd in the Echo Arena hurled coins at him as he waited for Paddy Pimblett to join him in the cage for their vacant lightweight title clash in Liverpool, England on Saturday at Cage Warriors 96.
Bak had to overcome a series of submission attempts from Pimblett in the first round before regaining momentum and winning the title bout in front of the adoring home crowd of “The Baddy”.
Speaking after being crowned Cage Warriors lightweight champion, Bak revealed that Pimblett’s submission attempts were not the only things he had to dodge ahead of his big win.
“It was quite intimidating just seeing a million angry faces as I was walking in,” Bak told Peter Carroll on the latest episode of Eurobash podcast. “When I got into the cage, people started throwing coins at me…like proper English coins. I was like, ‘I know I’m not getting paid much, but this isn’t really helping!’”
Bak doesn’t believe he was struck by any of the coins that were thrown from the hostile crowd.
“Ahead of the fight, I had said in interviews that I would be cool as long as it was only beer that was thrown at me. I guess if anyone actually knew what they were doing with those coin throws it could’ve hurt me.”
Although he can’t be sure, he thinks that the coins were thrown at him as Pimblett made his entrance.
“I believe I was coping quite well with the angry yells and faces, but I have to say the coin throws…I had to tell people, ‘There are still some [coins] over here’. I didn’t notice any [coins being thrown] during the fight, it was actually when Paddy walked out…I just saw coins laying around my feet.”
Pimblett dominated the first five minutes of the fight with what Bak described as “brilliant work”, but “The True Viking” isn’t sure if seeing that coins were being thrown with him effected his performance in the early throws of the contest.
“I think that may have took me out of my head a little bit. And I don’t know, maybe that had something to do with how the first round went, I don’t know. Watching the fight back and seeing both Paddy’s takedown and back take afterwards, that was brilliant, brilliant work on his side.”
Despite the early hostilities, Bak believes he managed to win the Liverpool crowd over by the end of the 25-minute title fight.
“When I called out the Liverpool crowd, they seemed to actually cheer a little bit. When I watched back when Paddy had lost in Liverpool before, I couldn’t really hear the crowd cheering the winner. It seems like [I won the Liverpool crowd over], and judging from my messages, there are a good amount of Liverpudlian’s that wrote to me saying, ‘Awesome job’. If they weren’t impressed with the result, at least they were impressed with the first round when i got out of the choke,” he said.
Check out the latest episode of Eurobash podcast below. MMA Fighting’s Peter Carroll is joined by former Cage Warriors flyweight champion and UFC veteran, Neil Seery, and Off The Ball’s Niall McGrath to discuss all of the recent developments on the European MMA scene. The Soren Bak interview begins at 12:00.