After attending UFC London and witnessing Paddy Pimblett fight in the flesh, Michael Chandler is a fan.
Chandler got a front-row seat this Saturday past to watch Paddy Pimblett take another huge leap to stardom after securing a second-round submission over Jordan Leavitt. After taking in the atmosphere in the O2 arena and observing the love that the UK fans had for Pimblett, Chandler respects the Liverpudlian’s approach.
Pimblett and Chandler are at opposite ends of the division as things stand. Still, it has Chandler raising an eyebrow at the possibility of facing Pimblett down the line.
Michael Chandler on Paddy Pimblett
“He’s great, man,” Chandler told media backstage in London. “Paddy and I have been in contact a little bit. He’s a guy who’s in that perfect – kind of that perfect position where I’m the guy. I’m gonna be the champion here in the next 12 months. He’s going to be nipping at my heels, coming into the top 15, coming into the top 10. But I don’t have a scarcity mindset when it comes to other guys in my division, especially when I see guys who are doing it the right way, in my opinion.”
Pimblett has always had a strong and loyal following in the UK, having previously sold out arenas under Cage Warriors, which is unheard of at that level. Pimblett won the Cage Warriors featherweight title and once upon a time turned down the UFC on more than one occasion.
Since falling short in his quest of attaining ‘double champ’ status on Cage Warriors, Pimblett has acquired a five-fight win streak, finishing all five of his opponents in a fanatic fashion. A former star in Bellator, Chandler knows what it takes to be great, and the former Bellator champion believes there’s something about Pimblett that lines him up for a successful future in the sport.
“He’s a marketable guy, he’s a happy guy, he’s a fun guy, he’s fun to watch, he’s fun on the microphone, he’s the total package,” Chandler said. “People can hate on him all they want, but really they’re just being haters. Paddy Pimblett is the total package, but can he put it together inside the octagon within the bells and continue to keep winning? We’ll see.”
Will Michael Chandler still be in the sport when Paddy Pimblett climbs to the top of the division?