Paddy Pimblett, the newest superstar in the UFC, faced off against Jared Gordon in the co-main event of UFC 282, the highest profile fight of each man’s life.
Paddy took the UFC by storm since his debut in 2021 and has racked up three wins, all by finish, in that time. Jared Gordon, meanwhile, has been a constant presence in the UFC lightweight division and has had his ups and downs on the road to building an impressive 7-4 record in the promotion. If Paddy could win this fight he would have won four straight and would be nearing a ranking. However, Gordon has battled through adversity all of his life and was confident in his ability to derail the hype of ‘Paddy the Baddy.’
Pimblett opened up pressing forward and throwing hard strikes, but Jared countered early on with two lean lead hooks that snapped Paddy’s head back. The striking was mostly even but Gordon had more clean lands, including a big right hand, that would have dropped lesser men. Paddy’s chin was on display early on, as it was in his UFC debut. Paddy began to focus on his kicking in order to keep the distance and had more success that way. With one minute left the pair had an exchange that was just them trading hooks in the pocket with no defense. Each man ate strikes but came out unscathed. With thirty seconds left in the round Paddy shot a takedown but got reversed on the way down and Gordon ended up on top, where he closed out the round.
The second round started with more of the same on the feet and the striking was pretty even early on. Gordon began to throw to the body and then come upstairs in combination, which was a combo he had success with. Two minutes into the round Gordon shot a takedown but Paddy executed an unusual maneuver where he tried to rear-naked choke Jared Gordon without having his back. The squeeze was tight but Jared got out and they got to their feet in the clinch. With two minutes left in the round Gordon separated while throwing hooks that appeared to hurt Paddy. But ‘The Baddy’ came back with his own hooks that stunned Gordon momentarily. Gordon strode forward and landed two good right hands before clinching up again and looking for a takedown. Paddy defended it and started throwing wild hooks, some of which got through the guard, before Paddy poked Gordon in the eye accidentally, stopping the fight momentarily. When they restarted Pimblett got right to throwing bombs again and the round ended with a whiff.
The score seemed like it could potentially be tied going into round three and Jared Gordon opened the round with a takedown attempt into a rear body lock. After a struggle against the fence Paddy was able to turn and face him again. Gordon tried for multiple takedowns in the clinch but Paddy defended them all before finally breaking away with two minutes left. Gordon chased Paddy down to the other side of the octagon and suffocated him in the clinch once more. With fifty seconds left in the round Gordon got a takedown and got on Paddy’s back but he was too high and he fell off. Gordon got up and now it was Paddy’s turn to get a rear body lock, but the fence prevented him from getting hooks in. Paddy tried to jump on Gordon’s back anyways with ten seconds left and came close but the bell rang before he could get more than one hook in.
The fight was extremely close and hard to score, with the only clear round really being the first one for Gordon. When the judges scorecards were read by Bruce Buffer all three judges had it 29-28 for Paddy Pimblett, keeping the hype alive even though he went though a grueling fight that he could easily have lost. The decision certainly didn’t reflect what many watching the fight saw — with all but one media outlet scoring it for Gordon.
Guys… This was officially a robbery. #UFC282 pic.twitter.com/SKcO8XWijB
— José Youngs (@JoseYoungs) December 11, 2022
Official Result: Paddy Pimblett def. Jared Gordon by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)