Jordan Leavitt says Paddy Pimblett in ‘disadvantage’ at UFC London: ‘It might make him more reckless and rush things’
Paddy Pimblett is more experienced between the two, but Jordan Leavitt is certain that things won't be easy for the Liverpool fighter despite the local support.
After weeks of trash talk, Jordan Leavitt and Paddy Pimblett finally have their chance to settle the score at UFC London. Pimblett is more experienced between the two, but Leavitt is certain that things won't be easy for the Liverpool fighter despite the local support, which will also mark his second appearance at The O2 Arena almost four months after his last big performance. Pimblett had then secured a decisive win, forcing his opponent Rodrigo Vargas to tap out in the opening round.
Leavitt feels Pimblett will be the one under pressure, making him more vulnerable to mistakes. “There's more pressure on him as no one's coming there to see me. So no one's gonna care what I do. I could have a boring fight and no one will hate me or anything. He doesn't have a good performance, it looks bad.
"They're kind of bringing him here for a reason, so I know I'm supposed to play the bad guy in this situation, but I don't think as much of an advantage. I think it's gonna be a disadvantage. I think it might make him more reckless and make him rush things,” the American told hindustantimes.com in an exclusive interaction.
The two fighters have had a lot words of exchanged in the past couple of weeks. In fact they were scheduled for a sit-down interview ahead of the fight, however, Leavitt's reluctance saw Pimblett take another dig at him. "I can't believe he's turned it down. That just shows me, like, I genuinely feel like I've already won," said Paddy after attending it.
Leavitt too has had his share of fun. The 27-year-old, who boasts of an impressive 10-1-0 UFC record, tried intimidating his opponent by threatening to twerk inside the Octagon following his win at the event.
Pimblett over the course has soaked in a lot of popularity with his gimmicks and fancy callouts, the last one being Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg after his win against Vargas in March. But Leavitt doesn't seem impressed with any of it, in fact he asserts “his popularity and skills” don't match up.
“If I separate all the flash and all the extra stuff, like away from his performances at the Octagon it's not particularly impressive.
“He's very tough. He's got an eye for a finish, but he makes a lot of mistakes. And a lot of mistakes I don't think fighters should be making. He's got a lot of charisma and he's got a big following and that's very helpful from a business standpoint, but in terms of him as a UFC fighter I don't think his popularity and his skill match up,” said Leavitt.
‘Charles Oliveira is the champ’
Both Leavitt and Pimblett compete in UFC's lightweight division, the title for which remains vacant at the moment. However, we'll soon see a name under it as former UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira will fight Islam Makhachev for the belt at UFC 280.
Oliviera was stripped of the title earlier in May ahead of his fight against Justin Gaethje, which also saw him become the first champion in UFC to lose his belt for failing to meet the weight requirements. The Brazilian had then weighed 155.5 pounds, 0.5 pound more than the eligibility set for the lightweight division.
Leavitt, who is a huge fan of Oliviera, backs the Brazilian to regain his former status as the Lightweight champion. “I think Charles Oliviera is the champ. We've had champions miss weight before, and they weren't punished that way or they let them put their hand on the towel or let them kind of do some shady stuff.”
“So to me, Charles Olivera is still the champ and I think he's proven that he belongs there the most. And then Islam Makhachev like close second.”
Talking about him Leavitt said: “This division is full of a lot of personalities and a lot of like talents, I'm trying to be a talent, not a personality."
Watch UFC Fight Night - Blaydes vs Aspinall LIVE on SONY TEN 1 (English), SONY TEN 3 (Hindi) & SONY TEN 4 (Tamil & Telugu) channels at 12:30 am IST on 24th July 2022