Jordan Leavitt didn’t expect the biggest opportunity of his MMA career to just land in his lap, but that’s exactly what happened when he got the call to fight Paddy Pimblett in the UFC’s return to London on July 23.
” I actually said no at first,” Leavitt admitted with a wink on Wednesday’s episode The MMA Hour ,. “They were asking me if I wanted to fight in July, England. I was like, No.’ But then, like an hour later they asked,?Are you sure? I replied,?Yeah. I don’t like travel. I believe I can do that .’
” I then thought about it more and realized that he has a tendency to pick easy fights. Or at least, his team or UFC have for him. I was irritated by this, but I can take it all in stride. I think I have a few tricks up my sleeve. I’m pretty excited for this matchup.”
Just two bouts into his UFC career, Pimblett has already proven to be a breakout star of the promotion’s lightweight division. The brash Liverpudlian has a sizable following both online and in his native England, and that showed when he blew the roof off London’s O2 Arena in March with a raucous come-from-behind submission win over Kazula Vargas.
Considering Pimblett’s early momentum, Leavitt is well aware of the setup he’s walking into when the UFC returns to the O2 Arena in July. He’s not naive enough to think the promotion isn’t hoping for another highlight-reel moment to unfold on Pimblett’s path to stardom.
“One-hundred percent,” Leavitt said. If I tried to push Paddy Pimblett (who I believe is talented, like him and fan of him), I wouldn’t want to see him get chinned and defeated by two men who weren’t the best. I also don’t think he likes to power punch. It seems that I do not like to hit the head very often, which would allow Paddy to compensate for many technical flaws. But I think I’m not too worried about it.
“I think I’ve fought better strikers and I’ve fought better grapplers. Paddy Pimblett has not fought me and I have not fought him. And yeah, I think this is going to be a little bit of egg on people’s faces when the fight comes — I think I’m going to handily beat him.
“If you take away all the flash and social media, which I don’t really take a part of, I don’t think there’s too much to worry about,” Leavitt added. “I feel like if I just focus on the fight and I don’t let the crowd get to me, I think I have no worries. It’s exciting. There are no worries. I think he has to get lucky.”
Leavitt doesn’t take it lightly. The 26-year-old American is 3-1 in his four UFC appearances and has already made an impact on fans for his memorable post-fight celebrations after his wins. Leavitt was most recently in the news when he twerked within the octagon after his win over Victor Martinez.
” The Monkey God” has no plans to change his ways at UFC London. Even though he will be fighting in enemy territory.
” They could say whatever they like about me. Leavitt stated that this would be “my hometown” after I win. They’re going love me. They don’t they just don’t know it yet. They’ll love me after 15 minutes’ of combat. It’s a routine for me to fly to other people’s homes, beat up their relatives, drink booze and all the rest. I fought a guy where his coach was the ref. It doesn’t matter where the enemy is. After I win, I am a lot more flamboyant than usual. I also get a lot of hatred. My style is not typical of fighters.
“I don’t mind looking silly or doing stupid things .”
Leavitt suggested that he might already be planning a celebration if he can upset the apple cart to defeat Pimblett the way that he anticipates.
” I have some things in mind,” Leavitt stated. It all depends on the outcome of the fight, but I have a few things planned.
” I am pretty certain that if I win in the manner I desire, then I will be caught for doing what I intend to do. We’ll see. … Luckily I have good head movement so when they start throwing things at me, I’ll be bobbing and weaving and dodging the beer cans. But yeah, I am excited to cause a riot. It’ll be lots of fun, I believe.
“He’s the golden boy, but I’m the platinum boy. I think I’m going to prove it on July 23.”