Las Vegas, NV — Liverpool, England’s Paddy Pimblett has been the breakout star of 2022 for the UFC, but his debut in front of a live U.S. audience went off with a whimper, rather than a bang.
After two electrifying performances earlier this year at the O2 Arena in London, both submission wins, Pimblett (20-3) went the distance with Jared Gordon Saturday at UFC 282 in the card’s co-main event.
The fight was dull by Pimblett’s standards, with the third round a grappling-heavy affair with minimal damage inflicted by either man. The first two rounds, more active and more competitive, appeared to be split — but all three judges, including Doug Crosby, who submitted a baffling 50-45 score in Friday night’s Raufeon Stots vs. Danny Sabatello fight at Bellator 289, scored it 29-28 in favor of Pimblett.
The reaction online from fellow fighters, media members, and fans was predictably critical, with many calling the result a robbery.
Paddy “the Baddy,” not surprisingly, disagreed. “I’m sound, know what I mean? Everyone’s got an opinion, lad. Opinions are assholes. Everyone’s got one,” Pimblett stated during the event’s post-fight press conference. “I know I won that fight, simple as. I deal in facts, and I won a unanimous decision. It’s not even like it was a split decision. Look at his face and look at mine. Fights get scored on damage now. I landed a lot more damage. End of.”
So why the outcry from his peers? That, suggested Pimblett, is “because I’m me. It’s just cause I’m me.”
When Pimblett asked who among his fellow fighters had been critical, former bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz was one name singled out. “I was sitting next to Dominick Cruz before, and I said to him, control time means nothing. Damage,” noted Pimblett. “Look at my face and look at Jared’s. I don’t care what anyone says, lad. When you look back at the history books, I’ve got the little green marker next to my name with a W. Everyone else can suck my asshole.”
Pimblett was more giving when it came to opponent Gordon, despite “Flash” himself also posting on social media that he had been robbed following the fight. Yes, Gordon likely was his toughest test to date, Pimblett acknowledged.
“He can take a punch, lad. I hit him some big shots, and he kept coming forward. Hat’s off to Jared, he’s a phenomenal fighter, and also a phenomenal human being.”
When it comes to the scoring of the fight, Pimblett initially agreed with the judges — but after reviewing the stats post-fight, now believes he’d done enough to win all three rounds.
“I knew I’d won the first two. People don’t have to tell me. But when I looked at the stats after the fight, I think I won all three. In the cage, I thought that he’d won the third. When it said 29-28, I was like ‘yeah, good decision. I won the first two, he won the third,'” said Pimblett. “But then after looking back at the stats, four significant strikes in the third. Control time doesn’t mean jack sh*t any more lad.”
Pimblett also told Cageside Press that he had some sympathy for Gordon, an American booed in his own country when he walked out at UFC 282.
“I felt bad for Jared when he walked out and got booed, to be honest. I did, I felt bad for Jared because he’s a nice, very nice man, he didn’t deserve to get booed. But it just shows how good my fans are and what star power I’ve got. That walkout was spectacular. That’s up there with the O2 and the Echo Arena in Liverpool. That was special, lovely walkout.”
Watch the full UFC 282 post-fight press conference with Paddy Pimblett above.