Image source: Paddy Pimblett's Instagram (@paddythebaddy)
Paddy “The Baddy” Pimblett has had a rough year away from active competition but the Liverpudlian returns this weekend at Cage Warriors London.
Pimblett’s last appearance in active MMA competition was a decision loss for the vacant Cage Warriors lightweight championship against Soren Bak. Injuries have since kept Pimblett on the sideline for longer than he would have liked and caused some frustration.
Pimblett openly admitted that his recent loss and subsequent hand injuries affected him emotionally stating that he cried most mornings for several weeks after the bout.
“After that last fight lad, I cried myself to sleep for about two or three weeks. Some days I’d wake up and I’d just cry. Done the same a few months ago when I was just thinking I couldn’t fight again because of my hand. People think we’re fighters and think ‘they’re tough, they’re this, they’re that, they can get through anything’. No lad. It’s hard for all of us. We’re just normal humans, just like everyone else is.”
Paddy has managed to overcome the injury issues related to his hand and looks set to get back to active competition this weekend. Speaking to Cage Warriors, Pimblett has reflected on some issues he faced in the past and was honest about a lack of professionalism at times.
“I was putting on a lot of weight between fights. I just wasn’t professional. I can admit that now, but I wouldn’t have back then.
I was a daft 21-year-old kid who went out and partied all the time, doing stuff I shouldn’t have been doing. I’d go out, usually on the Saturday and Sunday but sometimes Friday as well, get in at 5 or 6 in the morning, get 2 hours kip and then head to the gym and train on Monday morning.
All my teammates and coaches would just smile at me, like ‘what on earth are you doing Paddy’.”
The Scouser then went on to discuss things he has changed and been able to accomplish during his time away from active competition.
“I’ve stepped up my jiu-jitsu, I’m now a black belt. My wrestling’s got better where my strength has – everything has got better, and people are going to see that on fight night.”
Pimblett’s was set to return against Donovan Desmae but Desmae was forced to withdraw from the bout with a hand injury. Joe Giannetti, a finalist on The Ultimate Fighter, has stepped in to replace the injured Desmae and Pimblett is looking to be the first man to finish Giannetti.
“I’ve watched a few of his fights and he looks alright, but not on my level and none of his opponents have been up to the CW standard.
I’ll be the first to finish him.”
The lightweight division has been shaken up a little bit since Pimblett was last in the cage. Pimblett shared his thoughts on new lightweight champion, Jai Herbert and potential lightweight title challenger Mason Jones.
“Jai is very good, but I still think I beat him. He got taken down and dominated for a round by Steve O’Keefe, who one of my teammates subbed in about a minute. I know I’d beat him, but I don’t think he’s going to be in Cage Warriors much longer.
Mason Jones hasn’t really fought anyone. He fought Desmae and won two rounds to one, and he’s just beaten Mantykivi and didn’t even finish him, which I was surprised about.”
Finally, Pimblett also discussed his plans for when he makes it into the UFC. Pimblett discussed dropping down to featherweight and calling out Makwan Amirkhani.
“I’ll be going back down to featherweight when I get there. I’ve got hardly any weight to cut, and I’ve been eating quite a lot. I’ll probably be asking for someone like Makwan Amirkhani.
This is a big weekend for “The Baddy” to try and get himself back in the win column and get himself back into title contention.