Paddy Pimblett won’t be back in the Octagon until later this year, but his sights are firmly set on one man.
Pimblett is rehabbing an ankle injury that required surgery and won’t be back in time for the UFC’s mooted return to London this summer. But, speaking to Fighters Only, his manager Graham Boylan laid out the plan for “The Baddy” once he’s back to full fitness.
Speaking at the MMA Fight Academy/Mola TV media day in San Diego, Boylan explained, “Paddy has just literally finished his ankle operation – he’s still in a boot. So Paddy is probably looking at October or November by the time that’s rehabbed and he’s back in full training.
“Once he’s recovered, and once he’s back in full training camp, and we don’t have any injury issues, we’ll see where that goes.”
One potential option could see Pimblett rematch the last man he faced in the Octagon. His bout with Jared Gordon in Las Vegas was a closely-contested affair, with Pimblett getting the nod from judges, who all saw it 29-28 in the Englishman’s favor.
However, some observers felt Gordon had done enough on the night to get the win, and there have been calls for the pair to face off for a second time. Interestingly, the loudest voice calling for the rematch belongs to Pimblett himself, and Boylan explained why, despite picking up the win, the Liverpudlian is keen to run it back with “Flash.”
“That talk of a rematch with Jared is a conversation that will probably happen, should he get past his next opponent and get that win,” he explained.
“I know Paddy doesn’t want to go ahead with something hanging over his career. He’s not that type of athlete. He doesn’t want to be two years down the line and have, ‘Oh well, that Jared thing was never sorted out.’ So, I think Paddy wants that.
“I’ve seen a few things online about people who think that Paddy may think that he lost the fight, and that’s why he wants that rematch. Paddy doesn’t care. Paddy won that fight. He won it on points. It was a close fight, but Paddy won the match. He doesn’t want to go on and do things and leave things where they’re just not finished.”
With Pimblett rehabbing his ankle, Gordon has his next UFC assignment this coming weekend, where he’ll take on Bobby Green on the main card of UFC Vegas 71.
Boylan said that the potential for a rematch could present itself after that bout, but also suggested Pimblett may have to get another fight under his belt first, too.
“I would think that, if Jared beats Bobby, there’s a strong possibility that rematch could happen,” he said.
“Maybe the UFC will want Paddy to get a win first. But that chapter’s got to be closed, and that’s the type of athlete that Paddy is. He would want that chapter closed, and that’s the conversation I’ve had with him. He wants to close that chapter, and closing that chapter means a rematch. But there are a lot of moving parts, and things need to fall into place for that to happen.”
Elsewhere, Pimblett’s longtime friend, teammate, and managerial stablemate Molly McCann should be back in action earlier than “The Baddy,” with Boylan suggesting we could see “Meatball” back in the Octagon this summer.
“Molly has a date and an opponent, and she’ll be out (to compete) in July.” he said.
Boylan also revealed that another British star could be set for action in the summer, with former Cage Warriors middleweight champion Christian Leroy Duncan set to return to action after his Octagon debut was cut short when his opponent Dusko Todorovic suffered a knee injury less than two minutes into their fight at UFC 286 in London.
It deprived Duncan the chance to show off the crowd-pleasing fighting style and flashy striking that had him earmarked as one of the most exciting prospects to emerge from the UK in recent years.
But it looks like “CLD” won’t have to wait too long before he makes his second Octagon appearance.
“Christian has such a huge upside. And I’ve had these conversations with Mick (Maynard, UFC matchmaker). We’ve chatted about this. Christian’s gone through two full camps, and he didn’t get to fight,” Boylan explained.
“He didn’t get to fight Jesse (Taylor) when it was in Cage Warriors on New Year’s Eve (due to Taylor being hit by a car the night before the fight), and he didn’t really get to fight in London on his UFC debut, because the fight was finished after 90 seconds due to a knee injury.
“Because of that, I think the UFC will give him a quick turnaround, and I think you’re going to see Christian run out in June.”