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Paddy The Baddy's Early Fight Footage Shows Just How Far He's Come

Jess Hardiman

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Paddy The Baddy's Early Fight Footage Shows Just How Far He's Come

Early fight footage shows just how far Paddy ‘The Baddy’ Pimblett has come since starting out in MMA, having since gone on to become one of the sport’s biggest names. 

Pimblett, 27, started training in MMA when he was 15, proceeding to make his debut two years later in 2012. 

The year before, he took on Scott Gregory in an amateur bout, with commentators noting how his opponent’s ‘long wrestling background’ meant he was the ‘arguably the most accomplished wrestler in UK MMA’ at the time. 

However, as seen in the footage - which was posted by ShareFight at the time - Pimblett ended up winning by first round rear naked choke, much to everyone’s surprise.

Commenting on the YouTube video, some people said he looked like a ‘12-year-old’ and had a ‘nobody’s home’ expression as if he was ‘stoned’. 

But the outcome of the fight proved Pimblett had promise even then, with others returning to the video to see just how far he’s come. 

Revisiting the clip nine months ago, one person wrote: “That boy didn't look like nothing but he showed everyone he’s something...” 

Someone else said: “That's f**kin AWESOME. 10 years ago WOW.” 

While Pimblett, who successfully took on Jordan Leavitt for the UFC Fight Night 208 at London's O2 Arena last weekend, may not have been the biggest guy when he broke into MMA, he benefited from a bit of sibling rivalry in the past - which he says helped prepare him for the octagon.

Pimblett just before taking on Scott Gregory in an amateur bout. Credit: ShareFight
Pimblett just before taking on Scott Gregory in an amateur bout. Credit: ShareFight

Speaking to BBC Sport last September, he said: “I wasn’t exactly a big scrapper when I was younger. 

“My brother’s five-and-a-half years older than me so I’d get beat up and I’d keep coming at him, and keep coming at him. 

“So when I eventually did learn to fight, that’s what I got good at.” 

He explained that he’d initially been reluctant to pursue a career in MMA because ‘the money was bad’, but added: “My coach had to convince me and say, ‘You’ve got a big opportunity here, don’t throw it away.’ 

“And then I went on a nine-fight win streak and became a world champ.” 

Next Generation Gym coach Ellis Hampson also remembered what it was like seeing a then-teenage Pimblett walk through the door. 

“When Paddy walked in the gym, Paddy was a 14-15 year-old skinny kid giving [bleeped] to all the older ones,” he recalled. 

Pimblett posing on the scale during the UFC Fight Night last weekend. Credit: Alamy
Pimblett posing on the scale during the UFC Fight Night last weekend. Credit: Alamy

Ellis continued: “In camp, he’s switched on. On the ball. Out of camp, he still trains all the time, but he just likes his food a little bit. 

“People have wanted to see him in the UFC for the last six-seven years. It’s been a long time coming. 

But Paddy was keen not to rush into UFC too early. 

“A lot of people rush at the chance to get in the UFC,” he said. 

“They’ll take short notice fights, they’ll lose the short notice fight – your dream’s over. I didn’t want that to happen to me. I was only 21 when they offered me a contract. I was very small. 

“I’m so happy that I never took the offer – that money that I got for them few fights off Cage Warriors, I got my own house, I paid my mum’s mortgage off, I helped my sister get a new kitchen.” 

Featured Image Credit: ShareFight

Topics: MMA

Jess Hardiman
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