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Former CWFC champ Paddy Pimblett gets UFC debut in September

One of England’s top lightweight prospects is finally set to make his UFC debut.

Paddy Pimblett walks to the cage ahead of a Cage Warriors event.
Paddy Pimblett walks to the cage ahead of a Cage Warriors event.
Dolly Clew | Cage Warriors FC

Anyone who has followed the UK MMA scene for longer than a minute has almost certainly heard of Paddy Pimblett. The ‘Baddy’ first appeared on the UK MMA scene back in 2012, at the young age of 17. Over the first four years of his MMA career he ran out to a stellar 12-1 record, capturing the CWFC featherweight title in the process and picking up wins over veteran talents like Ashleigh Grimshaw and Julian Erosa.

That early success from Pimblett was even enough to catch the eyes of UFC matchmakers at the time, but Pimblett passed on an early offer from the promotion when CWFC made him an offer too good to refuse.

“I’ll be honest, the UFC came in with an offer after I won the belt, but I would have been an idiot to refuse the offer Cage Warriors gave me,” Pimblett told MMAjunkie back in 2018, adding that he made three times as much in his last trip to the CWFC cage as teammate Molly McCann got for her last UFC bout. “I had a meal with (Cage Warriors owner) Graham Boylan in London after I won the title, and there were a few offers, but we just picked the one that was best for us in the now. Cage Warriors was better cash, so I would have been stupid to say no.”

And while the years that followed that first UFC offer didn’t see quite the same level of continuous success, with Pimblett losing title fights to Nad Narimani and Soren Bak, after victories over Decky Dalton and Davide Martinez, the world’s largest MMA promotion came calling again. This time the 26-year-old out of Liverpool didn’t turn them away.

MMA Junkie reports that Pimblett will face Brazilian fighter Luigi Vendramini on September 4th in London, England. The Fight Night card will be the UFC’s first trip overseas to anywhere other than Fight Island since Kevin Lee fought Charles Oliveira in the main event of UFC Brasilia in March of 2020.

Vendramini enters the bout fresh off a majority decision loss to Fares Ziam at UFC 263: Adesanya vs. Vettori 2. The 25-year-old out of the Constrictor Team is 1-2 in the Octagon to date, having made an unsuccessful debut against Elizeu Zaleski in 2018 and followed that up with a 2020 win over Jessin Ayari.

UFC London is expected to be headlined by a middleweight top contender’s bout between Derek Brunson and Darren Till. A light heavyweight bout between Paul Craig and former title challenger Alexander Gustafsson is also scheduled for the card.