Full Contact Contender (FCC) returns to Bolton’s Macron Stadium on June 20th for one of their biggest shows to date. FCC 13 features a number of Cage Warriors veterans and is headlined by one of Europe’s top Featherweight fighters, Paddy “The Baddy” Pimblett.
Pimblett will be putting his European Featherweight Title on the line for the first time against Spain’s Miguel Haro. Whoatv were able to catch up with “The Baddy” and were keen to get his views on Miguel Haro.
“I’ve watched a few of his fights and I don’t think he has much to offer. I nearly fell asleep watching his fight against Svensson. If he wants to try and grapple with me like that, then it’s going to be an early night for him. I’ll take him down and then it’s good night Irene.”
Pimblett who still has one fight left on his Cage Warriors contract took his one fight exemption bout at FCC 12 and has since remained with the promotion on a one fight deal. For Pimblett the prospect of competing far outweighs anything else and he is very happy with his current set up.
“Yeah having guaranteed fights is very important. I’ve come out of one camp and straight into another. Adam is a great match maker to have and he truly cares about the sport and isn’t in it for the money. He wants to build a show and I take my hat off to him. He is building a brand and making it his own thing. Im very happy fighting for FCC and am on a one fight contract at the moment.”
Signing with FCC saw things come full circle for Pimblett who never had a chance to compete for the promotion in his early days, but had been approached to fight for them.
“Adam had wanted me on the early FCC shows but I never really got a chance and then almost did just before I signed with Cage Warriors. I am very glad that it’s come back round. It’s such a well-run show which isn’t far from home so it means I get to bring a lot of support which is great.”
His first outing in the FCC cage saw him take on undefeated Kevin Petshi. Pimblett had talked prior to the fight about not letting it get out of the first round, but once in the cage quickly realised that he would have to adapt his game plan to deal with the reach advantage his opponent possessed.
“What really surprised me was his size. I was training for a guy coming up to Featherweight and thought he would be much smaller than me but he wasn’t. The plan for the first round was to strike but not only was his striking very good, he had a big reach so I had to adapt. Once I took him down and got on top of him it was game over.”
Going into FCC 13 Pimblett will be making a new addition to his already packed training regime and that is the inclusion of having for the first time in his career, a strength and conditioning coach.
“I do that much Jiu Jitsu and wrestling that I have been focusing a lot of my camps on improving my striking. For this camp though it’s the first time I have actually got a strength and conditioning coach (Dara McGowan). I am lifting weights which I have never done before and I can already see a difference, my grip is so much stronger and I am striking harder. I always used to say it (S&C) wouldn’t make a difference but it definitely does.”
Pimblett is known for willingness to take on any opponents put in front of him but are there any Featherweights in Europe which excite the 20 year old?
“The only thing that excites me is if someone who actually wants to fight me asks for a fight. But there is no one out there shouting my name because they know what will happen to them. My main goal is to get to the UFC. I want to be fighting the top ten guys.”
“I know people think I’m talking rubbish and I’m only 8-1 but everyone I have fought (other than my loss) I have beat decisively. I have sparred with top three ranked guys in Europe and held my own every time. I know I can fight anyone. People think im all mouth but I will fight anyone. Put me in there with Aldo or McGregor and I will give them a fight.”
It’s this air of confidence which people often confuse as arrogance in Pimblett that I was most intrigued to understand and find out just where it comes from.
“I don’t feel pressure. What is the point in feeling it when you know you are going to win? Pressure gets in loser’s heads not winners.”
“I don’t know, I really haven’t got a clue where it (confidence) comes from it’s just from inside of me. When I am in that cage I don’t think you could put me in there with anyone who would make me look uncomfortable. That is my home. It’s just you and them and I am not letting them make me look stupid. It’s only happened once before and that was the biggest regret of my life.”
When speaking to Pimblett you can sense the frustration that comes from deep inside when he is asked about or talks about the loss to Cameron Else. It’s the only red mark on his otherwise perfect record and something which he would look to avenge in a heartbeat, albeit against the guidance of his team and coaches.
“I would take that fight tomorrow everyone knows that. But everyone around me tells me it’s a step down. He doesn’t deserve to fight me right now. He got lucky with one sub but I would love to fight him again. Although my manager, coach and team wouldn’t want me to. I would love to put it on him.”
Ahead of Pimblett’s FCC debut, the Next Generation fighter got into a public spat on social media with former UFC fighter Andy Ogle and SBG fighter Artem Lobov. While things got pretty heated between the three, Pimblett has his reasons as to why he feels he won’t be fighting either man anytime soon.
“The only good thing about fighting Lobov would be the recognition because he is McGregor’s sidekick. I know he tried out for TUF and he will probably get on there because he is McGregor’s bitch and is in with the firm. If we did fight I would love for it to be on the UFC so the whole world could see me choke him out in two minutes.”
“Ogle knows he won’t fight me. He wants to get two of three wins and get back to the UFC and earn a bit of dough. He knows not to come near me because I will put him back about four fights away from the UFC.”
Pimblett like many fighters has made his intentions of getting into the UFC clear and whilst competing on TUF may be a future option for him, he would rather earn his way onto the UFC roster the old fashioned way.
“I would like to do TUF but I think I would rather get into the UFC the normal way. TUF is sometimes the easy way to do it. I would love it on there though I would be a great character in that house, can you imagine. They would have to get the subtitles out and everything “What’s he saying?” haha.”
For Pimblett the prospect of fighting for the UFC is a future ambition whereas his short term goal is completely focused on defending his European Featherweight Title at FCC 13 on Saturday June 20th. So what words does he have for his opponent Miguel Haro?
“Don’t even get on the plane lad. Just don’t waste your time. He is going to be in there for less than 3 minutes. He is having less than 5 minutes of fame. It is going to be a very bad night for Miguel.”