UFC London: The O2 Arena Erupts to Paddy Pimblett’s First Round Submission

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Paddy Pimblett and Kazula Vargas, UFC London
Paddy Pimblett and Kazula Vargas, UFC London ceremonial Weigh-In Credit: Jay Anderson/Cageside Press

Paddy Pimblett had been a lightning rod for controversy once again ahead of UFC London.

The Liverpool native, scheduled to face Rodrigo “Kazula” Vargas on the Fight Night show’s main card, wound up in a confrontation with Georgian Ilia Topuria earlier in the week. Topuria had taken issue with comments Pimblett had made online about his home country, but that was on the backburner while Pimblett focused on business with Vargas at the O2 Arena on Saturday.

Rodrigo Vargas looked to spoil the homecoming of Paddy Pimblett with the UFC’s return to London. Rodrigo Vargas could put his name on the UFC map with a win over a highly popular fighter like Pimblett.

Many have waited for the notorious walk out from the countryman Paddy Pimblett, and you could feel electricity generate throughout the arena. What a great feeling as you could feel the energy from the crowd, and right before the bell rang you felt that we were in for an entertaining bout.

Rodrigo Vargas got the fight to the ground early in the first, and up against the cage Vargas landed some ground strikes. Paddy made his way back to his feet, still pressured against the cage. A beautiful judo throw from Paddy with Vargas giving up his back, Paddy looked for a rear-naked choke and with some protests of Vargas having his gloves, Paddy got the choke and first round submission. Molly McCann joined Paddy Pimblett inside the Octagon to celebrate.

Official Result: Paddy Pimblett  def. Rodrigo Vargas via submission (rear naked choke) 3:49 R1

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