Liverpool’s Paddy Pimblett is just two fights into his UFC career but Dana White thinks the Brit might already be ready to headline a show as the numbers, White says, speak for themselves.
Pimblett — otherwise known as ‘Paddy The Baddy’ — pulled in a whopping 1.3 million views on Instagram for his UFC London pre-fight faceoff with Rodrigo Vargas, and his post-fight interview with Michael Bisping (see here) has already generated over 450k views on YouTube.
White sees similarities between Pimblett and DWCS 2 winner Sean O’Malley, with the UFC president claiming both men were simply destined for the limelight.
“I’ll give you an example: On my Instagram, I posted the faceoffs yesterday for the heavyweight fight [Aspinall vs. Volkov]. That did 120,000 views,” White said at the UFC Fight Night 204 post-fight press conference (h/t MMA Fighting). “Paddy’s faceoff did 1.3 million. So all the talk going into the fight about his walkout and all this s***, listen, it’s real. This kid’s got a ton of hype behind him and tonight he showed everybody that he’s the real deal.”
“I don’t know. I mean, his numbers say yes,” White said when asked about Pimblett possibly headlining his next UFC event. “His numbers say yes. He could headline a Fight Night,” White said. “It’s just one of those things… He’s like [Sean] O’Malley. O’Malley pulls big numbers. We’ve had a couple guys off the Contender Series that have pulled some big numbers. That’s the best way I could think to explain it. If you look at some of the guys that have come off the Contender Series and you watch the numbers and see what they do, you’ll see these guys either move right to pay-per-view or we headline them or put them in strong positions on Fight Nights. Paddy is definitely one of those guys that could be one.”
Pimblett (18-3 MMA, 2-0 UFC) beat Vargas (12-5 MMA, 1-3 UFC) via first-round submission (rear-naked choke) in a thrilling come-from-behind victory at London’s O2 Arena. The lightweight prospect envisions winning UFC gold in his future as well as selling out Anfield football stadium to a 50,000+ crowd of British MMA fans.
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