It feels like Irish veteran Decky Dalton has been waiting his whole career for the opportunity that he is set to grasp on Friday night in Manchester when he faces promotional frontrunner, former champion and celebrated submission specialist Paddy Pimblett on the main card of Cage Warriors 113.
Dalton stepped up to the plate on short notice after Italy’s coronavirus quarantine led to Pimblett’s second scheduled opponent, Davide Martinez, being forced from the event.
Dalton’s teammate Joe McColgan, who’s set to face Mason Jones for the Cage Warriors lightweight title on the same night, described what kind of challenge Pimblett can expect from the heavy-handed Irishman.
“Decky is huge in Ireland and especially in Belfast,” McColgan said on this week’s episode of MMA Fighting’s Eurobash podcast.
“You’ll hear the chants, ‘Decky’s gonna get ya,’ every time he’s walking out to the cage and when he’s fighting in the cage. Decky hits so hard - I hate sparring him. Anybody from any gym, any one who has ever sparred him, has said the same thing - he hits so hard.”
McColgan explained how Dalton’s lack of outright stopping power makes him one of the most painful fighters to exchange with.
“If you look at Decky’s record, he’s doesn’t have knockouts on it, but that’s the worst thing - a guy that hits so hard but it’s not hard enough to knock you out. It’s just under that knockout level, just under the death touch level where it’s just painful. You get to feel all that pain and there’s no switch-off. I suppose it’s a bit like Nick Diaz; you look at guys who come out of his fights and they’re just black and blue. He hits so hard,” said McColgan.
Although Dalton has lost some notable fights to the likes of Peter Queally and Jonathan Brookins, McColgan feels as though he’s back to his best having returned to the familiar stomping grounds of Fight Academy Ireland.
“You’ll look at his record and you’ll see some losses to some good guys. You might look at that and think he doesn’t beat good guys, but all those fights came within a time when he was with us, he wasn’t with [Fight Academy Ireland]. He was travelling about in other gyms, but now he’s back with us and he’s in a really good headspace. He looks electric in training and his record since coming back from those other gyms, I think he’s unbeaten,” McColgan stated.
Although he praised the grappling ability of Pimblett, McColgan is adamant that the Liverpudlian will be in a world of hurt as long as he stands with Dalton.
“He’s on a tear, he’s looking great in training and I just see this fight going all his way. Whenever Paddy Pimblett fights...on the feet he doesn’t move too fast - it’s kind of plodding forward, plodding back or side to side. That’s fine, but Decky also has that rhythm. Whenever it’s in Decky’s arena, when they’re in the stand up and they’re in that rhythm, he is better than anybody in that rhythm. I just feel like as long as the fight stays standing, Decky’s gonna light him up with shots and he’s going to hurt Paddy,” he said.
“Paddy’s dangerous in other areas of the game, he can throw up submissions from any angle, he’s got good takedowns and very good grappling, so it’s going to be an amazing fight. I think it’s on two fights before mine but I’m going to be glued to the TV watching it.”
Check out Joe McColgan’s latest interview on Eurobash. It begins at 1:28:00.