The UFC has a new star in their ranks, and his name is Paddy “The Baddy” Pimblett.
The 26-year-old from Liverpool, England arrived in the UFC with plenty of hype after a huge highlight reel of spectacular finishes in the Cage Warriors Championship and a 16-3 record.
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Pimblett made his UFC lightweight debut on Sunday against Brazil’s Luigi Vendramini, and the South American almost ended Pimblett’s hype train before it began when he rocked him with a monster left hook in the opening round.
But the Liverpudlian shook off the blow and battled back to nail Vendramini with a flurry of crushing hits before eventually landing the knockout punch with 35 seconds left in the first round.
The wild finish had the sporting world going berserk at what they’d just seen.
American sports writer Cam Marino tweeted: “Paddy Pimblett is going to be the next big thing in the UFC.”
Former UFC fighter Paul Felder wrote: “Well! Damn! I’m definitely gonna be talking about @PaddyTheBaddy”.
American UFC flyweight Tim Elliott tweeted: “Oh s*** turns out paddy is a baddy #UFCVegas36”.
Combat sports journalist Brett Okamoto posted: “Wowwwwww. Welcome to the UFC Paddy Pimblett. My word. What a debut. First round KO. With style.”
Former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping spoke to Pimblett after the fight, and asked him about how he almost got knocked out by Vendramini’s early left hook.
“You know my saying, lad,” Pimblett said. “I’m a scouser, we don’t get knocked out.
“I take that s*** all day.”
So, what’s next for the UFC’s new star?
For Pimblett, he’s hoping it is a fight night with his name in lights back on home soil.
“I’m here to take over, lad,” Pimblett said.
“I’m the new cash cow. I’m the new main man on the UFC roster.
“I best be in the game next week, lad. I’m the new man, lad.
“People are going to be calling me out now. You know who the boy is.
“Dana, Shelby. Let’s get back to the UK, get your boy in the main event or the co-main, and I’ll blow the roof off the gaff.”
After the fight, Pimblett’s exploding popularity was quickly documented by eagle-eyed observers.
Before the fight, the 26-year-old had just under 100,000 followers on social media platform Instagram.
But after the decision was made official, Pimblett’s followers skyrocketed to over 350,000 at the time of writing.
Even in his post-fight interview with UFC reporter Megan Olivi, Pimblett took aim at Instagram when asked who he wanted to challenge next.
“Anyone who wants it, I’m not really calling anyone out,” Pimblett said.
“The only thing I want to call out is a company, Instagram.
“Give me my account back, you lizards.”
Pimblett’s next fight is yet to be announced, but plenty of UFC lightweights will be keeping an eye on the star’s meteoric rise and want a piece of the action.