Paddy Pimblett expects his next fight to be on a UFC pay-per-view.
Saturday’s event was the second time Pimblett was given a hero’s welcome at the 20,000-seat venue after UFC London in March. When he revealed his $12,000 purse for a fight against Rodrigo Vargas, MMA observers howled at the up-and-coming star’s pay relative to the fanbase he delivered. Pimblett subsequently signed a new UFC deal.
Pimblett won’t find a bigger audience at the 20,000-seat T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, but he’s certain fans will pay premium prices from here on out.
“I know I won’t be fighting in The O2 again,” he said. “It’s too small.”
Previously, Pimblett called to headline a UFC event at the massive soccer stadium Anfield in his native Liverpool. That goal hasn’t changed.
“We will do Anfield,” he said. “I promise you now. [UFC President] Dana [White] said he won’t do Anfield, but he also said women will never fight in the UFC, and Ronda Rousey came along. He said he won’t do a stadium in the U.K., but the Baddy’s come along, so he will.”
Flanked by his training partner and friend Molly McCann, who pulled off another highlight-reel win on the UFC London main card, Pimblett used half of his press conference to gorge himself on fast food. He made headlines by mooning reporters at the official weigh-ins for the event, telling off fans who fat-shamed him over his eating habits.
Pimblett also struck a more somber note, explaining his emotional post-fight tribute to a friend who’d recently committed suicide.
“Women talk to each other,” he said. “There’s no stigma with women. They sit around and have a cup of tea and have a jangle. Men don’t, lad. Men feel like, ‘Oh, I can’t go and say that to women because they’ll think I’m a little mushroom. That’s what men think.
“As I said in the cage, I’d much rather my friend come to me and speak to me and cry on my shoulder than me have to cry when I’m carrying his coffin a week later. Split-second decisions ruin lives, and that’s what happened this weekend. ... People in the position where I’m in, people who have got a bit of a following, they should help people ... whether it’s Joe on the street or your mate. We should have to give back, because without all the fans, we wouldn’t get paid.
“I just like giving back. And as I said, I’m starting a charity for little kids, ‘The Little Baddies,’ but I’m obviously now thinking about doing a men’s mental health charity. The U.K. doesn’t give any funding for it, and it’s the biggest killer of men 21-45. Men just kill themselves, and no one cares. We need to change it.”
Pimblett has yet to bring his unique brand across the pond for UFC fans, but he’s already received a ton of exposure alongside McCann, the seasoned veteran of the duo. Both of them paid tribute to their fallen friend and ended the presser thanking the media. According to Pimblett, it might be the last time they see them for a while.