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Paddy Pimblett next fight: 3 opponent options for ‘The Baddy’?

Jason Burgos

Some Paddy Pimblett next fight news is likely to come sooner rather than later, following his second Octagon win at UFC London on March 16. There is a massive amount of hype surrounding the UFC’s new megastar from the United Kingdon, and there are a bunch of matchup options for his return to the cage later this year.

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Who will Paddy Pimblett fight next?

paddy pimblett next fight, paddy pimblett
Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

Pimblett is now the UFC’s most popular English fighter — sorry Darren Till. Despite his mass appeal, he is still just a high-level MMA prospect in one of the promotion’s deepest divisions. Meaning the UFC must be strategic in how they continue to develop their new rising star. That is why fights with Christos Giagos, Jim Miller, or Ignacio Bahamondes make the most sense next.

  • The Spartan: Giagos is a legit UFC-level lightweight whose losses have come to the champion and some pretty good fighters. He would be a reasonable jump up in competition for Pimblett without being outrageous.
  • Generational Clash: Miller is one of the most tenured fighters in UFC history. He is also one of the better grapplers in the division. A fight with the unranked 38-year-old is classic UFC build-a-star booking. The goal is to let a rising 20-something score a destructive win over an older fighter many fans are familiar with.
  • La Juala: Bahamondes is a rising talent who likes to get in the cage and scrap. Both men are at a similar point in their UFC journeys, and there is certainly risk because the Mexican has a good chin and can thump, but if they want an action fight between young fighters from strong UFC markets, then it’s a logical matchup.

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Paddy Pimblett vs Rodrigo Vargas recap

paddy pimblett next fight, paddy pimblett
Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

While Pimblett didn’t score a knockout win against “Kazula” Vargas at UFC London, he earned another first-round finish. Furthermore, he did exactly what the UFC was hoping for by serving up a highlight-reel finish in front of a raucous home country crowd in England.

What happened: Vargas came out fast throwing big shots and landed one that definitely stung the English star. However, the fight quickly ended up on the mat, and “The Baddy” got to show new fans the outstanding grappling that made him a star on the UK MMA circuit. Scoring the first-round submission by rear-naked choke.

The fallout: While he looked impressive at times in his second Octagon outing, Pimblett again displayed weaknesses in his stand-up game. His superstar upside is immense, but unless he fixes the holes in his striking defense soon, his hype train could quickly be derailed by a savvy power puncher.

The roadmap: All roads point to big things for Pimblett’s future. He is tough, talented, and has an elite-level gift for gab. The UFC will surely be careful with how they book their UK cash cow, so don’t expect him to be placed in a fight with a top-15 lightweight any time soon.

A Legitimate Star on the Rise: The hype surrounding Pimblett isn’t smoke and mirrors. He is a serious MMA talent and stamped his place as the most popular competitor to ever compete in the UK’s best cage fighting organization, Cage Warriors.

  • Paddy Pimblett record: 18-3 (6 knockouts, 7 submissions)
  • Paddy Pimblett height: 5-foot-10
  • Pimblett had a long tenure in Cage Warriors. Competing for the promotion on 14 occasions and earning an 11-3 record.
  • He gained a reputation as Cage Warriors’ most marketable star after headlining three events for the promotion.
  • Pimblett won the organization’s featherweight title in 2016, and almost matched Cage Warriors alum McGregor when he came up short in a 2018 bid to be a two-division champion.

The Baddy Boy: Part of Pimblett’s fanfare is the unabashed confidence he has in himself. It’s a reason why many observers of the sport have compared him to other brash UK MMA greats, and former UFC champions Conor McGregor and Michael Bisping.

  • Pimblett is a fascinating talent because his Beatles-style mop-top haircut makes him look like a well-mannered individual. But then he’ll unleash a foul-mouthed torrent of trash talk that appeals to fans of bold combat athletes like Nate Diaz and Jake Paul.
  • The money-making potential for “The Baddy” brand is so undeniable that popular sports site Barstool Sports gave him a “seven-figure deal” in 2021 to be a brand ambassador and content creator. An unheard feat for a fighter with only one UFC fight under their belt.

Paddy Pimblett’s net worth

The measure of a fighter’s success is in dollars and cents they stack up from a career of professional fisticuffs. Over his short career, Pimblett has amassed an estimated net worth of between $1 and $5 million.