In 2021, Pimblett burst onto the scene in MMA’s leading promotion with a memorable debut. After much anticipation for his first walk following a March signing, Pimblett was matched up with Luigi Vendramini on the main card of UFC Vegas 36 last September.
Despite appearing to be hurt early on, “The Baddy” found his rhythm as the first round developed, eventually making good on his pre-fight prediction by knocking the Brazilian out before the end of the opening frame.
Now, with his stock risen and his name firmly established as a hot prospect, Pimblett will take to the Octagon for the second time today at UFC London. With a home crowd behind him, the Liverpudlian is certain he’ll draw the loudest cheers of the night when he shares the cage with Rodrigo “Kazula” Vargas inside the O2 Arena.
But despite looking forward to his first outing of 2022, Pimblett also sees his sophomore clash on the sport’s biggest stage as a lose-lose scenario.
During an interview with BT Sport’s Nick Peet, Pimblett suggested that because most fans expect him to dispatch Vargas with ease, there’s little upside to a comfortable victory. On the flip side, a defeat would be extremely damaging.
“I’ve said this, this fight’s a lose-lose for me,” claimed Pimblett. “Everyone’s like, ‘Ah, he should be winning anyway.’ But if I lost the fight, they’d be like, ‘Ah, he’s a hype train.’ If I win the fight, ‘Ah, he should’ve won anyway.’ For him (Vargas) lad, it’s a win-win. He comes over and beats me, ‘Ah, [MUTED].’ He gets beat, ‘Ah, he was meant to lose anyway.’ Know what I mean?”
Pimblett: All I Know Is I’m Beating This Mexican Up
Nevertheless, Pimblett isn’t focusing too much on people’s opinions. That’s true now and whatever the result of the main card today will be. All the Liverpudlian is thinking about is getting his hand raised after a second consecutive first-round triumph.
“Opinions mean nothing lad. As Paul (Reed) says, opinions mean nothing. Actions mean something,” asserted Pimblett. “So people’s opinions, they can stick them up their arse lad. I don’t care. All I know is I’m getting in this cage and I’m beating this Mexican up for half-a-round before the referee stops it or he goes to sleep.”
With aspirations of grandeur for 2022 and beyond, it’s certainly important for Pimblett to establish his dominance over lower-level lightweight names like Vargas.
Do you think Paddy Pimblett will record his second UFC victory when he shares the Octagon with Kazula Vargas today?