The hype surrounding Paddy Pimblett is heavy, but UFC president Dana White is taking a more measured approach in assessing his potential.

Pimblett returns for his second promotional appearance Saturday when he meets Kazula Vargas on the UFC Fight Night 204 main card at O2 Arena in London. It’s a big opportunity for the charismatic and bold 27-year-old British fighter to break through in front of his home country fans.

While White appreciates Pimblett’s brash approach to the fight game, the UFC boss also knows that’s only half the battle to becoming a star.

“He’s a fun guy. Smack talk’s fun. You’ve got to win,” White told BT Sport. “Everybody keeps talking about the excitement of the walkouts and all this stuff. You’ve got win fights. Believe me, he comes in and has an incredible walkout and the crowd goes crazy and he wins? Awesome.”

Could Paddy Pimblett’s Conor McGregor moment happen at UFC London? Daniel Cormier thinks so.

Paddy Pimblett recounts UFC London fight week altercation with ‘little man’ Ilia Topuria

Video: Punches fly as Ilia Topuria, Paddy Pimblett get into UFC Fight Night 204 fight week altercation in London

Many expect Pimblett (17-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC)  to do just that as he enters the bout as a huge 6-to-1 betting favorite, according to Tipico Sportsbook. And you can tell from Pimblett’s own words that he expects the same.

Pimblett, a former Cage Warriors featherweight champion, crushed his UFC debut last September with a furious first-round TKO of Luigi Vendramini. For White, staying on the winning track is key to reaching his potential.

“He’s one of those guys that has that thing, and he has the potential to be a star. But here, you’ve got to win fights,” White said. “It’s not just about being popular. It’s not about how many people like you. You’ve got to get in there, and you’ve got to win.”


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