While many are attacking Paddy Pimblett, Ben Askren liked what he saw at UFC 282.
‘The Baddy’ made his return to the octagon last Saturday night on pay-per-view. The bout was just Pimblett’s fourth in the promotion, and despite that, he’s already a star. Promotional deals with brands such as Barstool Sports have only raised his profile further.
Standing opposite the Liverpool native was Jared Gordon. ‘Flash’ had won four of his last five fights before facing Pimblett, but was a big underdog nonetheless. Based on how the lightweight co-main event went, the odds were massively off.
While the Brit had his moments, it was instead Jared Gordon who controlled most of the fight. Despite many fans believing the underdog deserved the victory, it was instead Pimblett who won by decision. In the post-fight interview, the former Cage Warriors champion stated that the bout wasn’t all that close.
The comments drew backlash from many, but Ben Askren loved it. During a recent appearance on Daniel Cormier‘s YouTube channel, ‘Funky’ praised Pimblett. While he believed the U.K. star deserved to lose, he also believes that he handled the situation perfectly.
“Paddy ‘The Baddy,’ he didn’t win that fight. But I loved what he did,” Askren said. “When he got the mic, he said, ‘It wasn’t even close! It wasn’t close!’ Everyone was like, ‘There’s no way he’s right.’ But I loved it! It’s the way he sold it. I think you can confuse fans. Some fans aren’t as educated.” (h/t MMA News)
He continued, “I think there’s two ways you go with it. You can go the super honest route, ‘Wow, I didn’t think I was gonna win, I was shocked,’ or you can go, ‘I won for sure.’ Anywhere in the middle of there, I think you lose fans. He’s got that little [Conor] McGregor uber-cocky type thing, so I think it worked. I think that’s what early McGregor would have done.”
The saga between the two lightweights is likely not done. Over the last few days, Jared Gordon has been calling for a rematch with Paddy Pimblett. As of now, ‘The Baddy’ has yet to respond but has seemed uninterested in a second clash previously.
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