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UFC legend Brad Pickett believes Paddy Pimblett needs to take the sport more seriously if he hopes to succeed. The former Cage Rage featherweight champion retired from mixed martial arts competition in 2017 after a loss to Marlon Vera at the O2 Arena, London.
After retirement, ‘One Punch’ turned his attention towards coaching and is the head trainer at Great Britain Top Team in Mitcham. Among his stable are promising British UFC stars Nathaniel Wood and Marc Diakiese who both compete this weekend at UFC London.
Also on the card is Pimblett, who has taken the MMA world by storm since signing on last year. Weighing in on his epic rise in popularity, Pickett told Express Sport: “He’s fun for the sport if you know what I mean? He’s one of those ones that has to walk the walk because he can talk the talk. If you talk the way he does and then you lose you just look an idiot so for me it’s always a tricky one.”
Despite comparisons being drawn between the British fighter and Conor McGregor over their outspoken personalities, Pickett believes ‘The Baddy’ is a completely different fighter to the Irishman.
He added: “The difference between him and Conor McGregor is Conor is a phenomenal striker, whereas Paddy is not a great striker but he’s actually really good at grappling so in my eyes he needs to remember that he’s a grappler and take people down and win. Obviously, his first win was a knockout, but he needs to realise he’s not a striker and stick to his strengths. If I was coaching him that’s what I would say.”
Talking about ‘The Baddy’s’ potential, Pickett revealed that he doesn’t think the Liverpudlian will ever become a world champion unless he starts to take things more seriously.
He said: “No. I never say never but he would need to change things up and take things seriously, especially his diet. I know he likes the image of having a fight and then getting fat and out of shape. But he’s doing well, he’s got a lot of hype around him and he’s getting paid for it so fair play to him.”
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Pimblett is infamous for ballooning up in weight between fights with his trademark junk food-fuelled binges. Despite competing at 155lbs, the Scouser hit 205lbs after his last fight against Rodrigo Vargas leading many to question the UFC star’s commitment.
On July 23, Pimblett takes on 10-1 American mixed martial artist Jordan Leavitt at the O2 Arena, London. During his UFC career so far, ‘The Baddy’ is 2-0 with two first-round finishes against Luigi Vendramini and Vargas. His opponent, Leavitt, is coming off a victory over Trey Ogden in April and is 3-1 under the promotional banner.
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