With the U.K.’s Cage Warriors in action Friday in Manchester, England, it was promotional standout Paddy Pimblett kicking off the main card. Pimblett was a former featherweight champ with the company, though he’d lost his title to Nad Nadimani, who made the jump to the UFC. Moving to lightweight, Pimblett would find himself in a title fight against Soren Bak with the vacant belt on the line — but came up short.
In his first fight since the Bak bout in 2018, Pimblett returned under the most strenuous of circumstances: against a short notice opponent, in a world under quarantine, fighting in an empty arena against Decky Dalton. Injury and fights falling through had kept him out all of 2019, so how Pimblett would look in his return was one big question.
Dalton, meanwhile, had fought just weeks ago in his native Ireland.
With the main-card opener underway, Pimblett tossed out some low kicks, while Dalton threw a couple of strikes, mainly staying on the outside. Dalton then slipped, and Pimblett took advantage, quickly taking the back and getting a body triangle locked in. Dalton then had to contend with a rear-naked choke, while having one arm trapped in the body triangle itself. Pimblett then transitioned to the back as Dalton rolled, unleashing some big punches. Dalton rolled and rolled again, but wasn’t defending outside of covering up, which gave Pimblett the win!
— UFC FIGHT PASS (@UFCFightPass) March 20, 2020
Official Result: Paddy Pimblett def. Decky Dalton by TKO, Round 1, 2:51