Paddy Pimblett still has all the makings of a future UFC champion despite failing to live up to expectations against Jared Gordon at UFC 282.
That’s according to former three-time UFC title challenger turned MMA analyst and podcast host Chael Sonnen, who came to Pimblett’s defense following his recent win against Gordon.
Pimblett winning the fight was considered controversial due to Gordon landing the cleaner strikes and accumulating 6:28 of control time to Paddy’s 0:35, with some fans claiming the fight was a robbery.
Sonnen, however, disagrees with the sentiment that Pimblett lost the fight and feels the former Cage Warriors featherweight champion should be proud of his performance, crediting him with overcoming adversity in what was undoubtedly the toughest fight of his career.
“Gordon came to play, make no mistake,” Sonnen said on his YouTube channel (h/t Sportskeeda). “Paddy found himself in a fight that was harder than he knew it was going to be, but he responded. I have not seen anything from Paddy that shows me anything less than a potential to be a future champion.”
“I have seen him deal with adversity. I’ve seen guys try to grapple with him, I’ve seen guys get him tired… I saw him get cracked and his chin… that would’ve put anybody away.”
Pimblett feels he won the fight fair and square, blasting those who criticized his performance as haters.
“I’m a nice guy, why does everyone hate me?” Pimblett said after the fight. “I’m pretty pissed off to be honest, that Joe Rogan came in and said that was a close fight. It wasn’t a split decision, it was a unanimous decision, so I’m pretty pissed off that people thought I lost, it’s annoying me. It’s annoying me a lot.
“Anyone who thinks I lost that can go eat me a—hole.”
Pimblett will likely return to competition at UFC London in March 2023.