Wednesday, November 20, 2019

It didn’t take long for Paddy "The Baddy" Pimblett to become a household name with fans of Cage Warriors and MMA fans throughout Europe. As a teenager, he strung together some wins with the company, but the real notoriety came during his second stint with CWFC. His combination of highly exciting fights and must-see interviews brought the fans out in droves.

Those things, paired with winning, also brought him a title shot in the featherweight division, which he capitalized on. But after just one defense of his title, Pimblett dropped the belt to future UFC signee Nad Narimani. He’d follow that up with a move to lightweight that culminated in a failed attempt at that belt. Now just 1-2 in his last 3, and without a fight in the last 14 months, Pimblett said he had to make some changes.

“I’ve just got to grow up, you know what I mean. I’ve had to become a man,” he told The Top Turtle MMA Podcast. “Back then, I was a 21-year-old kid. I was doing stuff that wasn’t professional. I was going out partying on Saturday and Sunday… I was a child. I was saying it was alright, and it was going well for me - while I was doing that I won 4 fights in 6 months, became a world champion and defended the belt. Then it all came crashing down.”

It more than simply changing some lifestyle habits. Pimblett also wasn’t handling his training as seriously as he could. Sure he was still putting in the hours that he needed to, but he wasn’t working as efficiently as he could.

“I never had a proper [strength and conditioning] regime,” Pimblett admits. “I used to just wing it.”

However, all of that has changed as he prepares for Cage Warriors 111. Pimblett now has a strength and conditioning program that he follows to a T. He feels the results of this are apparent.

“Now, as you can see in all the pictures and the videos of me, I look like a man - I don’t look like a boy anymore,” he points out. “I grew into my body. I’ve got a proper training regime behind it, to back it up. You’re gonna see the best version of me that you’ve ever seen.”

Although he’s now stronger and in better shape than ever before, Pimblett isn’t ruling out a move back to the division that he once ruled. In fact, the work has made it such that a move down may even be easier for him in the future.

“I’ve only got 4 kilos (9 lbs) to lose,” Pimblett said about a week away from weigh-ins. “And I’ve lost 8 kilos overnight before.”

This plan may not play out in Cage Warriors, but is definitely on his mind for his move to the UFC - a move which he says is imminent.

“In the future, I probably am going to go back down to featherweight,” Pimblett said. “Some of those lightweights are huge in the UFC.”

The new and improved Pimblett fights former Ultimate Fighter finalist, Joe Gianetti, on Cage Warriors 111 this Friday on UFC Fight Pass.

(9:35 mark)

Author Daniel Vreeland is a co-founder of the Top Turtle Podcast, a regular contributor to the UG Feed, and a brown belt in Jiu-Jitsu at New England Submission Fighting in Amherst, Massachusetts.