Rising UFC star Paddy Pimblett is set to return at UFC London against Jordan Leavitt.
Ahead of the on-sale ticket date Friday, UFC announced that they had booked the Pimblett for UFC London, one of the most highly anticipated events of the year. The UFC London card will likely be a Fight Night event and takes place July 23 at The O2 arena.
Paddy Pimblett booked for UFC London
Making his way into the UFC last September, Paddy Pimblett took on Luigi Vendramini in his first showing. In a dream start under the banner, ‘The Baddy’ knocked out his opponent to secure a first-round finish on his debut. He also received the $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus.
In UFC’s return to London in March, Pimblett’s stardom in the area was evident. Getting off to a rocky start in his second outing in the promotion, Pimblett would make a comeback to submit his opponent via a rear-naked choke. The 27-year-old Scouser managed to get another first-round finish on a night filled with English talent.
Now, he’s set to return for UFC’s next show in the UK expected to be later this year. Although the company had been out of the country for three years before March, UFC president Dana White announced its plans to host another event sooner than planned.
Following his second win, Pimblett caused an uproar when he revealed that he was paid a meager £9,000 for his last outing. Given the drawing capabilities of the man, it’s no wonder he should be getting paid more and there’s one UFC champion who has vocalized his support.
Aljamain Sterling backs Pimblett to earn more
UFC put on its first-ever show in the UK in over three years when they hosted UFC Fight Night: Volkov vs. Aspinall. The promotion recorded a gate of $4.5million, out of which Pimblett was handed just $12,000 (£9,000) to show, and an additional $12,000 to win.
UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling offered his support to Paddy Pimblett on his podcast.
“Paddy Pimblett, super popular, pretty much sold out the entire arena. Himself, damn near by himself. Tom Aspinall, Paddy Pimblett, Molly McCann… But the person that most of the people came to see was Paddy freaking Pimblett.
“Obviously they came for the UFC show because it’s the freaking UFC and everybody comes out for that, but who are they coming to see at the UFC event? Paddy Pimblett.
“Are people justifying that it’s okay for Paddy Pimblett who’s selling that many tickets and bringing that many eyeballs to just get 12 and 12? Obviously he hasn’t paid his dues yet, but this is where there’s an issue with popularity, does this guy sell tickets?”
While Pimblett stated that he won’t fight a top-15 opponent unless he got a new deal, fans will be thrilled to hear of his return, especially the domestic fans who will be gearing up for UFC’s next event in the UK.