Israel Adesanya during his fight with Robert Whittaker at UFC 271. | Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images
The UFC champ doesn’t think Pimblett will be tested this weekend.
Paddy Pimblett is a hot topic of conversation heading into UFC London. The much-hyped Englishman is due to have his second fight in the UFC on Saturday night (third if you count his hotel bust-up with Ilia Topuria earlier this week).
‘The Baddy’ moved over from Cage Warriors last year and won his debut by TKO. This weekend he faces Kazula Vargas, who is making the long trip to London from Mexico. The match-up has received some criticism from a man who knows how to ride a hype-train all the way to a title.
On his UFC London breakdown video Israel Adesanya spoke about Pimblett and the ride he has been given in the UFC thus far. It’s fair to say that Adesanya is both a fan of Pimblett’s work to date, but also believes he’s being set up to succeed by the powers that be.
“Another guy with a lot of hype behind him. Jumped in the UFC, talked that shit and he walked that shit too,” he said (ht LowkickMMA). “I like what he’s doing. I like the haircut. I like how he is owning everything and just telling it like it is, speaking his truth.
“They are building him up,” Adesanya continued. “This is the thing, when I jumped in, I was ready to for the (most) dangerous people in the division. You can be a hype train but there’s levels. I knew I could jump in the deep end and swim with the sharks straight away. I didn’t have the opportunity like some of these guys. Even Jon [Jones] early on was fighting, not scrubs, but they push you, and once they realize who you are they push you more. That’s no shade by the way. That’s just me stating as it is for myself. I didn’t have the chance to fight a guy who was 1-2.”
Adesanya’s UFC debut was against Rob Wilkinson at UFC 221 in 2018. Wilkinson came into that fight with a 11-1 record (0-1 UFC). His second bout was against Marvin Vettori, who had a 12-2-1 record (2-1-1 UFC) when they met.
Pimblett’s first UFC opponent, Luigi Vendramini came into the bout with a 9-2 record (1-2 UFC). Vargas has a 12-4 record. He’s 1-2 in the UFC with a win over Zhu Rong in his last outing.
“I dare him to do a whole fucking entrance ahead of the biggest fight of his life,” Adesanya added, referencing the elaborate entrance he made when he fought Robert Whittaker for the title. “I’m not talking about this fight. This isn’t the biggest fight of his life yet. He’s fighting a motherfucker that’s 1-2. He’s getting fed a bum. Yeah, I dare him to try something like that and then fight and do what I did.”