Paddy Pimblett’s UFC debut wasn’t perfect. But according to the U.K. star, there was nothing that was going to keep him from a victory at UFC Vegas 36.
“It was never going to go wrong,” Pimblett said at the post-fight press conference for Saturday’s event in Las Vegas. “This is my destiny.”
Pimblett was acknowledging a brush with disaster when opponent Luigi Vendramini cracked him with a left hook in the early goings of their main card opener at UFC APEX. For a second, it looked as though reckless aggression might cost “The Baddy,” but he said the shot looked worse than it felt.
“I showed everyone that I can come through adversity as well, because he did catch me with a nice left hook,” Pimblett said. “I need to stop letting people punch me in the face. I want to put on too much of a show, so I just put my hands down and get into firefights with people. I do it in the gym.
“I can’t help myself. I like fighting. It’s pretty stupid, because it can go wrong, but it didn’t go wrong.”
After recovering to stop Vendramini at the 4:26 mark of the opening frame, the 26-year-old Scouser is targeting a fall return to his native England. He said a October or November date would dovetail nicely with UFC President Dana White’s desire to give U.K. fans a show after the cancellation of several events due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In the coming days, there will be much ink spilled over the next name to try stopping the hype train of Pimblett. The up-and-comer doesn’t care who is in front of him next, however.
“Luigi Vendramini was the fourth name I got put forward to me for this fight,” he said. “Every other name I got put to me I said yeah. I’ll never say no to a fight. I’m not a b*tchass. Whatever name gets put to me on the contract, I’m going to sign it. I don’t care if they’re ranked or not ranked or where they’re from, or where it is, if it’s in their backyard. If it’s in their backyard, everyone will start going sick when I walk out anyway. That’s just what I do.
“But as Dana said ... he said honorable mention to Paddy the Daddy. He knows it will be fun going back to England with this kid. ... November or December, let’s get a show in England, and let’s blow the roof off.”
The hardest part for Pimblett is over because he’s in the UFC and he’s ready to write the rest of his destiny. After a decorated run in the Cage Warriors promotion, he’s playing in the big leagues, and there’s only bigger and better things from here.
“People think I’m a grappler, and I’ve just shut everyone up,” he said. “I can strike. I can grapple. I can wrestle. I’ve got the personality, I’ve got the look. The new king’s here, lad.”