Former Cage Warriors champion Paddy Pimblett enters the UFC this Saturday in one of the most anticipated octagon debuts of the year, but UFC Vegas 36 opponent Luigi Vendramini believes all the hype is undeserved.
Liverpool’s own “The Baddy”, victorious in 16 of 19 professional MMA bouts on the European circuit, signed with the UFC following back-to-back first-round finishes in England. Vendramini, 1-2 in three UFC bouts since 2018 and 9-2 overall, blasts his resume.
“He talks too much, he knows how to promote himself,” Vendramini said in an interview with MMA Fighting. “His best weapon is knowing how to promote himself and talk but we’re Brazilian, we’re used to that. That happens all the time in Brazil. I’m not worried about it. I’m not worried about hype or fame. To me, fighting him or an unknown fighter is the same thing.”
Vendramini knows, however, that scoring a win over Pimblett would be bigger for him than stopping someone like Jessin Ayari, Vendramini’s sole victory in three octagon appearances.
“In my mind, [Pimblett] is working for me because if I go there and beat him, I’ll take all that work he’s done and it stays with me,” he said. “It’s going to be great. I’m happy with this fight and I’m sure I’ll bring the victory to Brazil.”
Pimblett scored finishes in seven of his 11 Cage Warriors wins between 2013 and 2021, but Vendramini thinks he’s “no big deal.”
“I’ve fought guys that are way tougher than him, with bigger name, so I’m cool,” Vendramini said. “He’s talking a lot. Talk is cheap, let’s see what he does. This is not Cage Warriors, this is the UFC. The world’s best fighters are here. Let’s see how he does.”
Speaking with Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, Pimblett said the Brazilian “is not going to be ready” and “not going to enjoy this,” vowing to finish him inside the opening round.
“Talk is cheap,” Vendramini fired back. “He’s never fought the guys he’s about to fight her win the UFC. Cage Warriors protected him. Every time Cage Warriors put him to test himself he lost. I believe it’s going to be the same thing here. He’ll be tested Saturday and will go down.
“He’ll be frustrated once more like every time he faced opponent that weren’t good for him, that were no easy fights for him, whose styles weren’t favorable for him, he always stumbled. The same thing will happen this Saturday.”
Vendramini scored finishes in every single one of his nine professional MMA victories, five knockouts and four tapouts, and vows to make it No. 10 in the main card of UFC Vegas 36 at the UFC APEX.
“I believe he’s going overconfident,” Vendramini said. “And will get frustrated and end up submitted or knocked out.”