Paddy Pimblett has questioned the level of competition the #4 ranked lightweight contender, Islam Makhachev has faced over the last year to warrant his swift rise through the ranks – suggesting he would also have submitted Dan Hooker at UFC 267 in quickfire fashion.
Pimblett, a former Cage Warriors featherweight champion, made his long-awaited UFC bow back in September on the main card of UFC Vegas 36 – stopping Brazil’s, Luigi Vendramini with a late opening round knockout win in a rallying effort. The knockout earned Pimblett his third consecutive win.
Yet to book his second UFC outing, Pimblett recently denied rumors that he was fighting former lightweight title challenger, Donald Cerrone at a UFC 272 on March 5. – claiming that he would likely fight at a planned UFC Fight Night London event on March 19. – calling for a grudge match with Jared Gordon to boot.
Speaking with former UFC middleweight champion, Michael Bisping on his podcast, Believe You Me – Pimblett claimed that the victor of a potential lightweight title fight between Charles Oliveira and Justin Gaethje would remain champion at the end of 2022, before claiming Makhachev has not fought elite calibre competition.
“Whoever wins out of (Charles) Oliveira and (Justin) Gaethje, ‘cause I can’t see (Islam) Makhachev beating either of them,” Paddy Pimblett said when asked to predict the lightweight champion at the end of the year. “Makhachev hasn’t fought anyone, lad. He’s only fought (Dan) Hooker. I think I’d submit Hooker in the first round. He’s a kickboxer, I’d take him down and submit him.”
In the midst of a nine-fight undefeated streak, Makhachev, who has been widely touted to lift Octagon gold, most recently closed out a stellar 2021 with a first round kimura win over the aforenoted, Dan Hooker, which followed a July main event submission of Thiago Moises, and a March arm-triangle win over Drew Dober.
The Makhachkala native is slated to headline UFC Vegas 49 event on February 26. – taking on the #3 ranked contender, Beneil Dariush in a lightweight title-eliminator at the UFC Apex facility.
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