He’s back! Paddy “The Baddy” Pimblett (19-3; 3-0 in the UFC with all three wins by finish) makes his long-awaited USA debut in the UFC when he fights in the co-main event slot on UFC 282. Pimblett is perhaps the most popular fighter on the UFC roster, as he has a boisterous personality with electrifying in-octagon performances. Moreover, his propensity to gain 40+ pounds following fights, accompanied with a hyper-unique and entertaining accent, makes him highly recognizable and a continual topic of conversation for MMA diehards and casuals alike.
Where Paddy The Baddy is a widely known fighter, Jared Gordon (19-5; 7-4 in the UFC) is quite mundane in tone and, thus, relatively unknown among even semi-diehards. While this can be related to his personality and in-octagon style, he is by no means an easy test, given he is a hard-nosed, veteran-style fighter who is still in his fight prime. This style of “fighting like a veteran” provides a difficult test for Paddy The Baddy and a test that should make for a highly entertaining affair for all fight fans!
Paddy Pimblett is a -250 favorite over Jared Gordon, which is an implied 71% win probability.
- Paddy Pimblett: -250
- Jared Gordon: +210
Paddy Pimblett is a wild man in the octagon. He treats bouts as fights, fully willing to throw hay-making punches early in the fight to end it as quickly as possible that just so happens to be extremely fan-friendly. This style of being a wild man on his feet plays seamlessly into what he truly does best, which is, submissions – 9 of his 19 professional wins have come via submission and 3 of his last 4 fights came by submission, all of which by way of the rear-naked choke. What makes Pimblett somewhat interesting is that while many submission-based fighters who throw with wild-like intent on the feet do so because they are perfectly happy getting taken down but for Paddy, throwing wild punches helps him get in close, clinch against the cage, and from that position, find a way to sink hooks in and snag the neck. While this style has proved effective, doing so against someone as solid as Gordon will likely prove to be more difficult, as such, will likely need to find a more effective way to land strikes and/or wrestle his way to the ground, where he then can work his submissions.
Finding more advanced ways to win fights is an evolution that Paddy himself has stated he needs to do. This self-awareness, of fully admitting the way he has won in the past has not been impressive from a technical standpoint, showcases a fight trait that I love – intelligence. Being intelligent, both in and out of the octagon, is a necessary trait when fighting in the lightweight division given there are countless fighters who are tough, talented, and well-rounded. Beating these fighters requires fight-over-fight growth, and this growth formulates through the acceptance of needing to continually improve. For Paddy, stating that he has not been happy with his past performances is great to hear, particularly with him looking flawed from a defensive perspective in those fights. If he does hone his defensive skills, both with defending strikes and being patient with grappling, then Paddy can begin his climb up the division. If, however, he fails to do so, then this sizable step-up in competition may prove to be a fatal move.
Jared Gordon deserves credit where credit is due, as while he may not be the most exciting fighter, he is an extremely sound, mechanical fighter who is able to exacerbate the weaknesses of his opponents. This style, of attacking what his opponent does poorly, showcases his veteran style as he understands that his well-rounded skills, accompanied by an ability to fight a hard 15-minute affair, allows him to beat talented, but flawed fighters.
Lately, Gordon has had to face talented grapplers who lack strong striking ability. In these fights, he has used his stocky frame and sound technique to make it difficult to take him down, and, when kept standing, land short, powerful hooks. While Gordon can flip this style, to implement strong offensive wrestling against poor grapplers, he will likely employ a rinse-and-repeat method as he has done of late. The benefit for him is that his tight, technical boxing will allow him to find success against the wild striking of Pimblett, and his hard-nosed grappling will allow him to find success in the clinch. The negative is that while he is a talented grappler, he is someone who has been submitted by a rear-naked choke, which is Paddy’s specialty.
This is a dangerous test for Paddy Pimblett but a necessary test if he seeks to climb the dangerous lightweight division. Gordon’s tight boxing will make it dangerous for Paddy on the feet, and Gordon’s sound wrestling will prove to be an obstacle for Paddy to overcome. From a forecasting standpoint, if Paddy was boasting about his previous performances, I would confidently take Gordon given Paddy had more serious flaws in those performances than he did benefits. But, because Paddy has shown maturity and self-awareness, I fully expect him to improve, fight within himself, and put forth his best performance to date. Because of this, I am taking him in this fight, but do note picking a method is quite tricky given Gordon is hard to finish, but has shown his neck can be found, albeit quite difficult to do.
Pick: Paddy “The Baddy” Pimblett to win