Eleven years prior to his UFC stardom, Scouse star Paddy Pimblett was seen rocking a shaved head and braces as an up and coming 16-year-old fighter. Pimblett has announced himself as one of UFC’s biggest stars in recent months, with his infectious personality and fierce fighting style helping him rise to the top.
In the midst of his climb, a video of the now 27-year-old as a fresh-faced teenager has emerged, where a young Pimblett introduces himself and discusses an upcoming fight. He is seen sporting a buzz cut, whilst showing off his braces with a beaming smile.
The fighter reveals his age, height and MMA record – which at the time stood at 3-0 – as well as revealing the origins of his ‘Paddy The Baddy’ nickname which was born from his coach.
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Asked if he has a fight name, a 16-year-old Pimblett replies: “My coach calls me Paddy The Baddy,” earning a laugh from the interviewer. The Liverpudlian has become notorious for outgoing press conferences as a UFC star, but as a youngster ‘The Baddy’ seemed to be a man of few words.
Asked for a prediction on his upcoming fight nine years ago, the teenager simply replied: “I’m gonna win.” Similar to his MMA record as a 16-year-old, Pimblett’s current UFC record also stands at 3-0 after three fights.
His most recent bout in the octagon came two weeks ago, as he defeated Jordan Leavitt at UFC Fight Night London thanks to a second round choke. Aside from his victory, arguably the most important moment of the night was the Scouser's touching speech surrounding men’s mental health, after he bravely revealed that he lost a close friend prior to fight night.
An emotional Pimblett said: “I want to dedicate this fight to little baby Lee, the little warrior. More of a fighter than any of us will ever be. But also, I woke up on Friday morning at 4am to a message that one of my friends back home had killed themselves. This was five hours before my weigh-in.
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“So Ricky lad, that’s for you. There's a stigma in this world that men can’t talk. Listen, if you're a man and you've got weight on your shoulders and you think the only way you can solve it is by killing yourself, please speak to someone.
“Speak to anyone. People would rather… I know I would rather have my mate cry on my shoulder than go to his funeral next week. So please, let's get rid of this stigma. Men start talking." An emotional Pimblett then left the octagon arena surrounded by his team in floods of tears.
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