The UFC is set to return to London on July 23, a quick turnaround based off the massive success of their March UFC London event. A big part of that success came on account of Paddy Pimblett.
Pimblett’s internet metrics were off the charts all week leading up to the event at the O2 Arena. While Tom Aspinall was the man at the top of the UFC card, there was no doubt Paddy “The Baddy” was the people’s main event. So the big question is: will Paddy Pimblett fight on July 23rd? He’s been surprisingly mum on the topic, and continued to be that way in a recent interview with ESPN.
“Don’t know as of yet, to be honest with you. We’ll see,” he said. “I haven’t got a clue, I don’t know whether I’ll be fighting. We’ll see over the coming weeks … We’ll see. We’ll see. Had a few talks last week, so … we’ll probably get something sorted, we’ll see what happens.”
It’s clear that Pimblett would be happy to step back into the cage in London … for the right amount of money. Paddy caused waves following his last win when he revealed he was fighting on a basic $12k/$12k contract. If the UFC isn’t willing to bump that up and pay him like the legitimate star he clearly is, it sounds like he’s willing to pass on the event.
Asked by ESPN’s Brett Okamoto if he was feeling motivated to fight, Pimblett got a bit annoyed.
“I’m motivated anyway, it has nothing to do with motivation,” he replied. “It’s a fight, I love fighting. I don’t do this sport to get paid, but I want to get paid my worth. It’s just the way it is.”
While the UFC will still sell out the O2 regardless of whether Pimblett’s there, it seems silly of the UFC to leave the country’s hottest fighter off the line-up because they want to keep criminally underpaying him. Of course, we know how the promotion rolls when it comes to conflicts like this. It’s starting to make more sense why a leaked matchmaking card at UFC HQ had Pimblett matched up against the extremely dangerous Ottman Azaitar, who is 13-0 with 10 KOs.
As for those wondering whether Pimblett can even make lightweight in time for July 23rd given he’s currently a “big fat turd” over 200 pounds at the moment, Paddy had this to say.
“Eight weeks and I make weight,” he declared.