Paddy Pimblett at CW78. Photo credit: Cage Warriors / Dolly Clew

In what is expected to be one of the biggest events in UK MMA history, Paddy Pimblett has warned opponent Nad Narimani that he’s going to feel the pressure of the pro-Scouse crowd when he enters the packed Echo Arena at Cage Warriors 82.

Pimblett (13-1) headlines CW82 against Narimani (9-2) on April 1, as the promotion return to Liverpool for the first time since September 2016. Cage Warriors packed 3,500 fans into the Echo on that night, but this time, they’re expected to double that number. 

Back in February, Cage Warriors President Graham Boylan told MMA Plus that the upcoming Echo show was opened up to 6,000 seats.

However, with a surreal amount of buzz in Liverpool over Pimblett’s rising aura, the Scouser has now claimed that the attendance will be two to three thousand more than what was expected. 

“It’s more than 6,000, don’t worry about that, seven or eight, It’s going to be a big party,” the 22-year-old told MMA Plus. “It’s gonna be hard for Nad, he’s not just fighting me, he’s fighting eight thousand scousers as well. 

“He’s fought in a lot of people’s back yard before, but none of them are gonna be like mine. He’s been at shows where they’ve had 500 to 1,000 people there, I’ve got 8,000 people behind me lad, it’s gonna be like going into someone’s backyard in Brazil, it’s not going to be nice for him. I like Nad, I respect Nad but I know it’s not going to be nice for him, when he’s walking out, when he’s in that cage, he’s going to feel the pressure and I’m going to bounce out with a big smile on my face.”

Pimblett opens up about tough weight cut for Julian Erosa fight

Paddy Pimblett, Julian Erosa. Photo credit: Cage Warriors / Dolly Clew

Despite his growing reputation in the United Kingdom, as he continues to advance towards the UFC, Pimblett feels he has plenty to prove at CW82, after a less than comfortable win over American Julian Erosa last November. 

“The Baddy” attributed his performance to his bad weight cut, having to cut 2.7lbs in an hour to make the 145lb mark. This time although, he believes that his weight is on point and admitted he is eager to silence his detractors.

“I’ll be doing it all properly,” he said, opening up about his tough weight cut for the Erosa fight at CW Unplugged. “This time training camp’s been ten times better, the last few fight camps I’ve just been rushed back into fight camp and rushed into dieting and having to do three weeks with no carbs leading in, it’s just killed me.

“Just because of one performance people are doubting me because of the big heavy weight cut, no one understands what that’s like, only fighters understand and even some of them are disrespectful. I’ll shut them up come April 1.” 

The NextGen fighter confirmed to MMA Plus that his Cage Warriors contract is set to expire after his fight against Narimani and claimed he’d like to take some time off and rest.

In spite of planning some time off from MMA, Pimblett did elude to a potential fight with Manchester’s Brendan Loughnane. The fight has been firmly sought after by numerous promotions in the past year but Pimblett feels his rival missed the boat, not signing to fight him in 2016. 

During the negotiations last year, Loughnane admitted the main reason he didn’t sign to fight Pimblett was because he didn’t want to get locked into a multi-fight CW deal. However, just this past week, it has been revealed that Loughnane is once again in talks with Cage Warriors to make the fight happen. 

Will Pimblett fight Brendan Loughnane?

Brendan Loughnane at Tanko FC 1. Photo

Pimblett opened up about Loughnane, and the All Powers fighter missing the train, saying: “We’ll see won’t we, I don’t even want to say his name, I can’t be arsed. I was there ready a few months ago and to be honest if we fought them he probably would have beat me. If I would have turned up like I did against Julian Erosa, he probably would have beat me. But that won’t happen.”

For a confident Pimblett, he believes despite the pining from the MMA community for the fight with Brendan to happen, it’s his Manchester foe who needs the fight more than him.

“The funny thing is, I said this on my Twitter, he needs me, I don’t need him, so what’s he on about if the numbers are right? He should be snatching that contract up, no matter what the numbers are saying because it’s a fight with me. No one cares about Brendan Loughnane versus someone else, everyone just wants Brendan Loughnane versus Paddy Pimblett because it’s against me. He needs me, he missed the train a few months ago.

“Me versus anyone is the biggest fight in UK MMA history. That’s just the way it is now.”