Paddy Pimblett is tired of not being taken seriously in the UFC.
The Liverpudlian, who is 3-0 in the Octagon since making his promotional debut in 2021, is on a mission to prove that he’s every bit as legit as the UFC hype machine has led people to believe.
He takes on Florida’s Jared Gordon in this Saturday’s UFC 282 co-main event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, marking his first UFC PPV appearance to date.
Speaking to reporters ahead of the lightweight matchup, 27-year-old Pimblett promised to prove that he belongs in the UFC and deserves to be recognized as a legitimate contender, planning to dispose of Gordon convincingly on Saturday.
“They’re not [taking me serious],” Pimblett said at the UFC 282 media day (h/t MMA Fighting). “It’s cheeky. People still aren’t taking me for real. No one respects me, and it does piss me off. But I’ve just got to get on with that. People just don’t respect the come up. Simple as.
“This is going to be my breakout performance. People are going to see the improvements that I’ve made over the last 15 months since I signed with the UFC. You’re going to see.”
The most vocal of Pimblett’s critics claim the 27-year-old is being handpicked easy opponents to build his UFC brand, with two of his previous opponents (Luigi Vendramini and Kazula Vargas) being cut from the promotion after losing to him.
Clapping back at the critics, Pimblett defended his level of competition in the UFC by focusing on the unique threats each fighter posed, especially Vendramini.
“Every one of my past opponents, people will be like, ‘He’s not good, he’s not good,’” Pimblett said. “I personally think my best opponent was my debut, Luigi Vendramini. He gets a bad rap. The only fights that he lost, he lost a majority decision to Fares Ziam. He lost his debut at welterweight, and then I beat him but that’s me. People say because he got cut. Yeah, [Kazula] Vargas wasn’t the best, he wasn’t.”
“Jordan Leavitt’s very good. No one had ever finished him. Everyone was talking about Claudio Puelles. He’s f****** s*** as well. He couldn’t finish him but everyone was saying he would beat me and I went and finished Leavitt on one of my worst nights. When I teamed up with a lot of s*** going on behind the scenes, and I still finished him in the second round. I’m disappointed in that performance just like I was with the Vargas one. I don’t think I’ve put a good performance in since my debut and that wasn’t even that good.”
Pimblett will look to extend his winning streak to 4-0 when he takes on Gordon this Saturday at UFC 282, featuring a main event between Jan Blachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev for the vacant light heavyweight championship.