Paddy Pimblett has never been short of confidence, and the rising lightweight star says he’s ready to produce an unforgettable atmosphere inside the O2 Arena when he returns to action at UFC London.
Former Cage Warriors featherweight champion Pimblett faces Kazula Vargas in the English capital, where a sold-out arena is set to deliver a wild night as the UK’s top fighters take center stage.
Nobody’s appearance is more keenly anticipated than Pimblett’s, with the Liverpudlian fan-favorite ready to give the fans a spectacular night.
“I just I know what I’m there to do. I can’t wait,” he told BT Sport ahead of fight night in London.
“I’ve been saying it for years, never mind the last few months. When I fight in the UK I will blow the roof off the gaff and it’s coming, lad. It’s just gonna happen. ‘Storm Baddy’s’ landing! March 19 it’s gonna be ‘Paddy’s Day’ all over again after the 17th, lad. Just watch!”
The level of fan anticipation ahead of UFC London has been off the charts ever since the event was first announced, and Pimblett, who has the most pulling power of any British UFC fighter in 2022, said that the 20,000-capacity O2 Arena is insufficient to meet the needs of his legion of fans.
“Without being big-headed and without being up my own a**e, I said months ago the O2 Arena is too small with me fighting on it. I could sell that out on my own – I genuinely could. They need West Ham’s ground, Tottenham’s ground, Wembley (Stadium)– that’s what they need with me on the card. You need a bigger venue – this is just isn’t big enough!”
While Pimblett is super-confident in his ability to put bums in seats whenever he fights, he remains very grounded when it comes to his growth and progression in the talent-packed UFC lightweight division.
“I’m not getting ahead of myself and think that after this fight I’ll fight someone in the top 15, because I won’t,” he admitted.
“Lightweight’s the most stacked division in the sport and the UFC. I know I’m going to end up fighting another three or four non-ranked fighters and I’m gonna have to get past them first. I’m taking everything one step at a time.
“But, I’ll be back at least twice this year – I’m not doing two fights this year. I want to have at least two, maybe three fights this year … I’ve actually got Glasto tickets this year, so I’m not missing out on that!”
While Pimblett’s planned trip to the Glastonbury Festival may be a non-negotiable factor in his upcoming schedule, “The Baddy” is ready to travel the globe to compete, and has already earmarked a trip to Asia for a future matchup.
“I’m happy to fight in June. I’ve seen that Singapore card in June. I’m happy to fight over in Asia,” he said.
“I’m happy to fight again in September, November – I want two fights at the back end of the year. If I can fit one in before the summer, I’ll do it. I’m game to fight, lad. I just love fighting. I just hate dieting!”
But before Pimblett and his team can start making travel plans, he has the job of dealing with Vargas in London on Saturday night. Pimblett said he expects a swift night at the office.
“He does not get out the first round,” he stated.
“If he gets out the first round, I’ll be highly disappointed in myself, I will. I’ll be fuming!”