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Paddy Pimblett explains reckless fighting style: ‘I enjoy getting punched’

UFC Fight Night: Pimblett v Leavitt
Jordan Leavitt and Paddy Pimblett
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Paddy Pimblett scored another one at UFC London and once again he found himself wanting more from his own performance.

After submitting Jordan Leavitt in his most recent bout, Pimblett said in his post-fight interview that he wasn’t completely pleased with the win, a somewhat surprising stance given that he improved to 3-0 inside the octagon with three finishes.

However, Leavitt gave Pimblett a stiff challenge, and Pimblett talked about what he could have done better in an interview on The Pat McAfee Show on Tuesday.

“That’s just how I am sometimes,” Pimblett said. “I was disappointed in my performance, I felt like I should have went out there and blasted him out in a round. I know I still finished him, finished someone that’s never been finished before. He’s had 11 pro fights, lost one, and never been finished and I choked his ass. He got dealt with like I knew he was going to get dealt with. I said the whole time he’s going to get finished, I thought it was going to be a knockout but he defends punches well, it’s quite weird. He doesn’t like to defend them in a skillful way, but he defends them well and then he just grabs a hold of you.

“But I think I won the first round on all judges’ scorecards and then got the finish in the second, so I’m not too fussed. Obviously, when I look back now I realize I was being very emotional going into the fight. I watched it back today and every punch I throw I’m trying to take his head off. I didn’t throw a punch where I’m trying to set a shot up, I’m just walking forward throwing punches.”

As for why his fights typically unfold as back-and-forth affairs, Pimblett had a simple explanation.

“I can fight like that every time,” Pimblett said. “I’m a big, fat bastard at the minute, but if someone rang me now and said, ‘Get outside for a straightener,’ I’d be out there beating them up.

“I enjoy getting punched and punching people in the face. It sounds very weird, but I enjoy it.”

Pimblett has become one of the lightweight division’s most popular fighters, and all kinds of matchups have been proposed by fans and media, ranging from fighters close to his level of UFC experience and veterans with bigger names that could be trending downward from a competitive standpoint.

At the moment, Pimblett acknowledged he’s nowhere near the top of the 155-pound rankings, and he’s in no rush to prove that he belongs there.

“Have you seen some of the names on that list?” he said. “Some of the names on that list are scary.

“I don’t care [who’s next.] The UFC lightweight division is the best division in the whole UFC by far. It’s the deepest division. All the way down to rank 50 in lightweight is very good, so I don’t mind taking my time climbing up the rankings, I’m not in no rush. I’m going to take my time and earn a lot of money as I do take my time.”

Making money is priority No. 1 for the 27-year-old Englishman, who has a lucrative sponsorship deal with Barstool Sports. The next move for Pimblett would appear to be a fight on a major card in the United States.

Pimblett has ruled out competing at Madison Square Garden, though, as he’s not thrilled at the thought of his purse being subjected to New York’s high state income tax.

“Come on,” he said. “That tax man just taking all my dough. That’s not happening, the tax man’s not getting my money in New York.”

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