Paddy Pimblett expects to hear his name being called a lot as he continues his UFC career.
Already recognized as one of the most talked-about athletes in MMA, the 27-year-old lightweight currently boasts a perfect 3-0 record in the octagon following his latest win over Jordan Leavitt. But he didn’t get to celebrate very long before Terrance McKinney called him out following an impressive finish of McKinney’s own at UFC Vegas 59.
Pimblett wasn’t the least bit surprised when McKinney called him out, because he knows there’s no faster way to build a brand than by trying to take out the UFC’s newest superstar.
“Everyone wants to fight me,” Pimblett told MMA Fighting at UFC San Diego. “He’s got less than 100,000 followers and I’m at 1.8 million or something. That’s why they want to fight me. But also, I’m not a very scary dude.
“I don’t look that intimidating. People think ‘I can beat him,’ but when you get in the cage with me and you’ve got to solve the puzzle, you can’t.”
According to Pimblett, he’s actually interacted with McKinney in the past and he wouldn’t turn down the fight if it was offered to him. But he also understands that it could be an even bigger matchup once they’ve both established themselves in the lightweight hierarchy.
That said, “The Baddy” expects to eventually cross paths with McKinney — but whether it happens sooner or later remains to be seen.
“Me and Terrance have actually spoke,” Pimblett said. “In the past, we spoke on Twitter and we actually said we would probably fight in a few years down the line, when it’s a main event on a proper big card.
“But he’s obviously seen how I blew up and he wants to jump the queue and jump the bandwagon now. I don’t mind. I’ll fight anyone. We’ll see what happens over the coming weeks with a few lightweight results and we’ll see what happens.”
For now, Pimblett is just enjoying himself between fights — which means he’s also taking the opportunity to sample the local cuisine in San Diego, and wherever else he might be traveling.
He jokes often about his love affair with food, and that results in Pimblett packing on the pounds before getting back into a training camp where he gets down to fight weight again.
When asked what he weighed on Saturday night, Pimblett revealed he was “about 200 [pounds]” — a whopping 44 pounds over the lightweight limit — but he’s also not preparing for a fight any time soon.
Pimblett acknowledged that the extreme weight gain and weight loss would eventually have to end, but it won’t be in the immediate future.
“When I’m a bit older and once I start fighting ranked opponents, I will keep my weight down,” Pimblett said. “But for now, I enjoy putting a little bit of chub rub on.”
As far as when Pimblett might need to start working his way back down to 155 pounds, he confirmed that he won’t be fighting alongside teammate Molly McCann at the upcoming UFC 281 card scheduled on Nov. 12 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Instead, Pimblett is targeting UFC 282 as his ideal next landing spot, with plans to get a third fight in the octagon before 2022 is over.
“I think I’m going to fight in Vegas,” Pimblett said. “That’s what I’m hoping. I’ve seen that card getting slated for Dec. 10.”