Paddy Pimblett probably made the right decision by resigning with Cage Warriors last month, based on their upcoming events that could propel the Liverpudlian MMA star into the stratosphere.
Cage Warriors are staging an ‘Unplugged’ event at the BT Sports Studios in London that will precede the UFC 205 broadcast, providing Pimblett with a massive platform as he takes on TUF alum Julian Erosa.
To add to that, it was announced last week that Cage Warriors will stage another event in Pimblett’s hometown at the Echo Arena. Cage Warriors CEO, Graham Boylan, believes the 21-year-old featherweight champion has the ability to sell the 11000-seat venue out.
Although the BT Sports broadcast will probably endear a whole new herd of fans to Pimblett, he is pretty sure he could sell out the Echo tomorrow if he was given the chance.
Selling Out the Echo
“I think I could see that arena out even I wasn’t going to be on BT Sports ahead of UFC 205 next month. I don’t need the ‘Unplugged’ show to sell out 11000 tickets, I could do that right now,” said the brash Next Generation man.
While many thought that Pimblett would sign for UFC following his capture of the featherweight title over Johnny Frachey last month, the fact that Cage Warriors have brought shows to the table that could strength Pimblett’s stock ahead of signing for UFC make his decision understandable.
Although it is unknown whether UFC had an offer on the table, Pimblett still sees his future being with the world’s flagship MMA promotion.
“I still want to get to the pinnacle of the sport. I want to be the best in the world and you have to go to the UFC to prove that,” he said. “It does annoy me when I see people saying that I shied away from signing with UFC. I know I’m ready for the top ten. I think I’m ready for the f**kin’ champ. But I’m only 21 and I have to pace myself.
“We’ll see what happens, I’m going to bash this mushroom ‘Juicy J’ first on November 12 and have a nice Christmas.”
Pitting Erosa against Pimblett will allow the Liverpool man to prove he is capable of beating fighters deemed to be of a good enough standard for the Octagon, something the Next Generation fighter believes he will have no problem doing.
“I’ve seen a few of his fights. He’s alright. He hasn’t got much a chin but if he’s good anywhere it’s on his feet. He’s pretty awkward and he likes to use them long strikes. It’s going to be the first time in a long time that I’ve fought someone that’s taller than me.
“His experience in the UFC will count for nothing when he gets in there with me. People don’t think I’m for real. I’m experienced beyond my years, but they don’t get that. They think I’m a young daft kid, but I’m smarter than any of them.
“Inside the cage walls I can outsmart anyone,” said Pimblett.
Brendan Loughnane looked very likely to sign for a world title fight between BAMMA and Cage Warriors at the beginning of the month. However, with Erosa now booked for Pimblett and the rumored championship bout at BAMMA being taken off the table, Loughnane will fight instead on Tanko FC.
After his public war of words with the Manchester man, Pimblett is adamant Loughnane has made the biggest mistake of his life by not signing for the fight.
“He definitely missed out. It shows how stupid he is. He’s more interested in fighting in a show near his Ma’s house than fighting live on UFC Fight Pass and on BT Sports. So let him fight by his Ma’s with no one watching. I don’t think he wanted the fight, but he did a great job of making it look like he did.
“He’s going to look back on this moment of his career and think ‘Wow I f**ked up’. To be honest, I’d say he’s thinking about that already. He’s thinking ‘Oh no, I f**ked up’. Damn right you have Brendan, you little beaut.”
Despite the obvious tensions between the two, Pimblett wouldn’t rule out facing Loughnane at the Echo in April, a contest that would certainly help the venue fill to its 11000 capacity.
“It’s definitely not off the table because I want to fight him. I want to shut up all these talkers online.
“I’m sick of hearing ‘Brendan is too strong for him’ or ‘Brendan has better striking than him’ – I’ll f**kin’ strike with him for five rounds and I’ll pepper him everywhere. He thinks he’s good at striking but he’s not. I can’t even be arsed talking about him anymore. He wasted my time for three weeks. I wasted too much time replying to his beaut friends on Twitter, who don’t have a clue about MMA.”
By Peter Carroll