“Khabib is the greatest lightweight in history.” Exclusive interview with Paddy Pimblett
On September 4, the generally unremarkable UFC tournament garnered a good audience and, subsequently, great reviews. The reason for this was the bright league debutant, ex-Cage Warriors champion in two weight classes, Paddy Pimblett. The Briton said a lot even before the first fight in the American promotion. So, he touched Khabib Nurmagomedov a little , which caused a considerable hate in his address. In the first fight, Paddy performed very brightly, which led to a rapid rise in his popularity. The Championship managed to communicate with the league’s rising star. Pimblett spoke about the real perception of Khabib, named the best Russian fighters in the history of MMA, and also talked a lot about football.
– Can you tell us about your daily routine?
– My schedule for the day consists of getting up early at six in the morning. I go to the gym for interval training. I spend almost the whole day in the gym and during this time I do two training sessions. After that, I take my dog for a walk. And the rest of the time I devote to my family. This is how my training camps come out.
– How do you like the fight between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder?
– An amazing fight, one of the best heavyweight divisions I’ve ever seen.
– Do you consider Tyson Fury the best heavyweight in boxing history?
– I can’t say that about the whole history of boxing, but he is definitely the best boxer of our time .
– Are you not embarrassed by the fact that Fury is from Manchester, while you are from Liverpool?
– No, Fury is a good guy, I like him.
– Please tell us in which area of Liverpool you grew up?
“I grew up in Huntington, where Steven Gerrard is from.
– Is it a harsh or calm area?
– It is difficult to answer unequivocally, as it can be both dangerous and safe there. Mostly it’s pretty quiet there. Nice area.
– As you know, you are an ardent fan of the Liverpool football club. Can you tell us how you celebrated your club’s championship in 2020?
– We all left in the direction of Anfield. All Liverpool fans have gathered there. </ span> And it was so crowded there that you could not turn around. But the atmosphere during the celebration was incredible. We sang, shouted chants.
– Did the quarantine forbid you to go out?
– At first, the quarantine was very tough. But it was hard for us to get used to it. And gradually people began to go out into the street. And for the championship of Liverpool, there were no such strict restrictions on going out. So we were able to get together at Anfield.
When was the last time you visited Anfield?
– Before the break for the national teams, I managed to go to the home game against Manchester City.
– How do you like the atmosphere at Anfield after the fans return to the stands?
– Magnificent, I really missed it. Although I had time to go to a few Liverpool home games this season, the atmosphere against Milan and Manchester City was the best.
– For us, England is primarily associated with football, because we all watch the English Premier League. Could you become a footballer or did you initially know you would become a fighter?
– All Liverpool natives, myself included, want to be footballers and be like Steven Gerrard or Jamie Carragher. But I was not a good enough footballer, so the choice fell on martial arts, where I came at the age of 15.
– And who is your favorite Liverpool player of all time?
– Of course, Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher, who were born and raised in Liverpool.
– Who would you single out of the current Liverpool players?
– Liverpool natives primarily (Trent-Alexander Arnold and Curtis Jones) and Andy Robertson.
– Which fighter do you dream of meeting in the octagon?
– To be honest, I have no dream of meeting someone. I am ready for any opponent. Give me any fighter and I will go up against him. But now I would like to meet with Jared Gordon, because he mentioned my name.
Who would you call the strongest lightweight in MMA history?
– Khabib, no questions asked. And I would have fought with him with pleasure too.
– What do you know about Russian MMA? Can you name the top 3 Russian fighters?
– Unfortunately, I know very little about Russian MMA. In the first place among the best Russian fighters, I will definitely put Fedor Emelianenko, then Khabib Nurmagomedov, and in the third Pyotr Yan. I really like Pyotr Yan as a fighter, the highest class.
– Are you going to watch the fight between Fedor Emelianenko and Timothy Johnson, which will take place at the Bellator tournament on October 23?
– To be honest, I don’t watch Bellator at all. Therefore, I do not know any of the fighters from there. In analogy with English football, the UFC is the Premier League and Bellator is the Championship. I don’t watch the Championship.
– Did you draw any conclusions from that story with Khabib Nurmagomedov, when you received a lot of angry messages in your direct?
– I am used to such a hate, because at the age of 16 I began to receive messages of this nature. During this time, I have developed an immunity to such a hate. I’m used to it. If you receive a lot of messages, it means that you are doing your job well.
– Do you have any concerns that your opponents will prepare for you in a special way because of your eccentric behavior?
– No, I like challenges and I like to fight over-motivated fighters.
– Your opponents love to joke about your hair. Have you walked with her since childhood?
– No, not from childhood. When I was young, I used to wear short hair. At the time, I looked like a skinhead. When I was 18-19 years old, I let go of the length of my hair a little and decided to leave it that way.
– Have you ever been offered a new hairstyle?
– No, because some people like it. But in the future I will definitely shave my head, for me this is not a problem.
– Your trash-talk is your deliberate promotion strategy, or is it your enatural behavior?
– This is my natural behavior. I am the same everywhere, no matter where I am, in Liverpool or Manchester.
– For a long time you have been plagued by injuries. Have you healed all your injuries?
– A couple of years ago, I had such serious problems with the brush that I could not throw blows. Last year I couldn’t fight with both hands. But, fortunately, the brush is fine now. I really hope that these problems are over and I can fight for another 10 years.
– You don’t have a contract for the next fight right now?
– No, I have no rival. And I am sure that I will not have time to enter the octagon before the end of this year. The fact is that they did not send me any offers or contracts.
– How many battles have you been contracted for?
– I have a contract for only one fight. It was not a contract for several fights. Let’s see how the negotiations go.