Paddy Pimblett hopes to better control his weight between fights moving forward.
The 28-year-old Liverpudlian is currently recovering from ankle surgery and is still targeting a UFC return before the end of 2023. But Pimblett is also well aware of his reputation for ballooning up in weight between fight camps, and as the veteran lightweight approaches the pivotal next stage of his career, he knows his issues on the scale remain a hurdle that must be addressed if he’s going to put his best foot forward in his pursuit of the UFC title.
“I’m hoping to have another three fights in the bag by [the end of 2024], another three wins and be ranked,” Pimblett recently told SLOTHBOXX. “But as I say, we’ll see what happens. People keep asking me, ‘Are you fighting?’ because I’m not that fat at the minute. It’s like, ‘You must have a fight coming up, you lad, you’re normally well fatter than this.’ It’s like, ‘Nah, lad. I’m just not that fat at the minute.’ But that’s what a lot of people keep saying to me, ‘Lad, you’re not that heavy. You must have a fight coming up.’ No, I haven’t.
“As I’ve said before, I think I’ve just got an eating disorder when I’m fighting, when I’m cutting weight and dieting, then after a fight, I’ve got a bad eating disorder. At the minute, I’m not too bad because obviously I had surgery. I went to America and got fat again, then came back and had surgery, and after the surgery, my weight has just gradually come down. Now I’m just walking around at about [185 to 187 pounds] and I’m not really watching what I eat or nothing. I’m just hobbling around at that weight, which is nice. I’ve plateaued now finally around this weight, so hopefully I’ll never go above [198 pounds] again.”
With a perfect 4-0 UFC record, Pimblett has emerged as one of the promotion’s biggest breakout stars since making his octagon debut in late 2021. He captured Performance of the Night honors for each of his first three stoppage victories over Luigi Vendramini, Rodrigo Vargas, and Jordan Leavitt, however his most recent decision over Jared Gordon at UFC 282 was widely criticized as one of the most controversial judging results of 2022.
Pimblett said he’s still targeting a UFC return in late 2023, “injury permitting,” however he noted that he’s no longer willing to go “into another fight not 100 percent.”
He also pushed back once again on any detractors who criticized him for his proclivity for gaining jarring amounts of weight outside of fight camps.
“It goes in one ear and out the other. They can all f*ck off,” Pimblett said. “I really don’t care, lad. People can say what they want about me. I’m the one, as people say, putting my life on the line and getting in the cage. So people on the outside, they don’t see what we have to do to make weight. But as I’ve said before, I actually am going to try and keep my weight down now, so we’ll see what happened. I’ve never actually tried to do it before.
“After every fight, I’ve just ballooned up and started eating like 8,000 calories a day. Now I probably won’t do that.”