Paddy Pimblett appeared to be a fighter on the rise after his victory over Kazula Vargas at UFC Fight Night back in March 2022. His rear-naked choke saw him pick up the win by submission in his second fight within the UFC, with his first coming against Luigi Vendramini back in September 2021. Since then, images and videos have been circulating of him with an extra few pounds on him, with the fighter seen enjoying his break and food at various events.
He hasn’t lost in the UFC yet, so the jury is out on whether his antics between fights will affect his in-ring abilities. His next match is against fellow up-and-comer Jordan Leavitt and will be an excellent barometer to see if he’s capable of moving up front UFC Fight Night events. However, it’s not all about the Liverpudlian; Leavitt is looking to prove himself too, so who will walk out victorious at UFC Fight Night 208 on July 23rd?
Paddy “The Baddy” Pimblett has shot to UFC fame with his comprehensive victories and infectious personality. His mic skills are somewhat reminiscent of a younger Conor McGregor, but all that bravado is useless if you can’t back it up in the octagon. However, Pimblett has proven his skill set, with many touting him as the next big thing. His impression is so strong that Betfair online betting has him heavily favored in this fight, with his odds as of June 23rd at -227, with Leavitt at +162. Nevertheless, no bout is won through having the best odds, and the Liverpool native will have to bring his A-game to UFC Fight Night in London.
Pimblett’s short tenure in the UFC has been highlighted by his comprehensive first-round victories and brash personality. He holds a 1st-degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, so he is not afraid to go to the ground and score a submission. Still, his background and love of fighting have engrained a brutal style in him. He’s not afraid to throw hands and even proclaimed, “I’m a Scouser; we don’t get knocked out!” A bold claim from the braggadocious fighter, but something he appears willing to back up.
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) June 2, 2022
Leavitt is an American-born southpaw who fights out of Las Vegas, Nevada. The lightweight is looking to prove a spoiler to the Pimblett party and blaze his own trail in the process. The American has a dominant 10-1 MMA record, with his only loss coming against Claudio Puelles at UFC Fight Night back in June 2021. However, the loss appears to have grounded him, with him honing his craft and bouncing back with two resounding victories over Matt Styles and Trey Ogden to improve to a 3-1 UFC record. Before that, he even earned a victory through a vicious slam.
The 27-year-old American has a wrestling background but is equally capable of connecting with his strikes. Most of his victories have come through submission, so he could be looking to take Pimblett down early and keep him grounded. If he can kill momentum, he could take the crowd out of the fight, as it is in London, England. Pimblett is capable when it comes to fighting on the mat, but Leavitt is looking for advantages anywhere he can. However, a recent interview suggests that he feels a decent strike could knock out the Liverpool native.
If he manages a victory against Pimblett, Leavitt could be hoping to get onto some better cards in the future and really propel his UFC career. Known for his post-fight celebrations, primarily his in-ring twerking, Leavitt could soon put himself firmly on the map if he could put Pimblett to sleep.
It’s interesting to see how both fighters will be coming into this fight. Pimblett is known as the new golden boy despite his ballooning weight between fights, while Leavitt only fought in April yet willingly accepted this contest. Leavitt is clearly a competitor who keeps in shape and is always ready to be called upon, and that attitude could see him score a surprise victory.
It’s difficult to decipher who is the better fighter so early in both of their careers; however, it seems that Pimblett has impressed those who know the fight game. What could be called into question is if Pimblett’s personality has actually clouded people’s judgment of him. Leavitt has some compelling parts of his persona but has flown under the radar compared to Pimblett
Whatever the outcome, we will learn a lot more about these fighters after July 23rd, indicating who is primed to make a leap in the UFC.