Former Cage Warriors featherweight champion Paddy “The Baddy” Pimblett returned to action on 20th March at Cage Warriors 122 in a lightweight contest against Davide Martinez, in what would be his last bout for Cage Warriors.
The Liverpool born lightweight has amassed a record of 15-3, with 11 finishes over his pro career, with 13 of his fights coming under the Cage Warriors banner.
Pimblett, who fights out of Next-Gen Liverpool, made his Cage Warriors debut back in 2013 at CW56, securing a unanimous decision win over Florian Calin.
His next fight would see him take his first loss as a pro at CW60, after he was caught in an anaconda choke in the first round by Cameron Else, who now fights in the UFC’s bantamweight division.
This would only be a temporary setback for “The Baddy”, who would go on to finish his next opponent Conrad Hayes via triangle armbar in his next fight. This win would be overshadowed by Pimblett’s weight cut though, after he weighed in 5lbs over the bantamweight limit. It’s clear to see just how much Pimblett learn from that experience though, and from other other issues with weight cuts further on in his career: “ At first when I was making 135lbs it wasn’t that bad because I was only 18, I was only a young kid”, said Pimblett.
“As I got older, it started to get hard, in the I missed weight by quite a bit when I fought Conrad Hayes, so I had to move up.”
Pimblett bounced back from this weight issue, climbing to 145lbs to beat Stephen Martin by TKO, before leaving the promotion during it’s hiatus, adding two more wins to his record, before coming back to beat veteran Ashleigh Grimshaw at CW75, followed by a win over Teddy Violet at CW77 via submission
With a run of seven wins, Pimblett obviously needed a step up in opponent, which matchmakers Ian Dean and Graham Boylan clearly agreed with, matching him up with Johnny Frachey at CW78 for the vacant featherweight title in the co-main event.
This would be a crowning moment in Pimblett’s career, as he won the title in front of his home crowd at the Liverpool Echo Arena with a first-round TKO.
This would be another happy memory for Pimblett at the Echo, with the former champion quipping “Give me the Echo over Vegas and the MGM any day, over anywhere in fact.
“The Echo Arena is like no other place.”
Just two months later, he would look to make his first defence against Julian Erosa at Cage Warriors Unplugged in the main event, with his opponent being The Ultimate Fighter veteran Julian Erosa, going on to win by decision after a tough fight and an even tougher weight cut, before losing the title to Nad Narimani at home in front of the Echo Arena.
Following a 10 month leave to rest, recover and learn, Pimblett, who had made the jump to 155lbs, would make a huge return at CW90 in front of another sold out crowd at the Echo Arena, where he would stun those in attendance with a flying triangle submission over Alexis Savvidis, with his next bout being for the title against Soren Bak.
The home town favourite came just short of forcing Bak to tap out in the first round to a rear naked choke, but a rushed return from injury had meant he didn’t have the grip strength to finish the submission off. Bak would go on to win by decision.
The next 15 months would be hard for Pimblett. He required more surgery to repair his hand, and upon his return, was scheduled to face Donovan Desmae.
This fight would be scrapped after Desmae was pulled out due to injury, and short-notice replacement Joe Giannetti, failed to make weight. A bout with Desmae was scheduled again for March 2020, but was pulled. Davide Martinez was selected to fill in, but the Covid-19 pandemic stopped that fight from happening.
Decky Dalton, however, was not only able to take on Pimblett, but more than willing, even after CW113 had to be moved on 24 hours notice to Manchester, following the O2 Indigo being forced to close.
Pimblett would show he was indeed back and meant business, winning via TKO in the first round, looking dominant throughout.
His eyes are now firmly set on Davide Martinez, as they face off a year to the day they were originally meant to, saying “I’m going to submit or TKO him in the first half of the first round., he’s not on my level.
“I think this will be my last Cage Warriors fight, and then I’ll be signing for the UFC.”
“The Baddy” also has some serious ambitions ahead of his UFC tenure, saying he believes he will be selling out Anfield in the future.
Pimblett has now signed a multi-fight deal for the UFC, fulfilling his promise of moving there after beating Martinez.