Dana White: Paddy Pimblett has 'got that Conor McGregor vibe'

  • Tom Ward

UFC president Dana White has compared Liverpool MMA fighter Paddy Pimblett to former ‘champ-champ’ Conor McGregor.

The Notorious has transcended the sport and become one of the richest fighters in the world along the way, with his sponsorships and other business ventures going a long way to making up his estimated Forbes net worth of £180million.

And White, 45, sees similar qualities in Pimblett.

The Englishman, 27, has impressed the matchmakers since signing for the UFC in 2021, including matching McGregor’s 2013 feat eight years on as he knocked out Luigi Vendramini in the first round on his debut last September.

He added to his collection of impressive highlight-reel finishes with recent submission wins over Rodrigo Vargas and Jordan Leavitt – having been forced to come from behind in both fights.

On Pimblett’s rise, White told MMA Junkie: “To talk about championship stuff now it’s a little too soon, but he’s got that Conor McGregor vibe.

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“When he walks, when he’s in the arena, the way that the fans receive him, the way that the media covers him. The way that the people who search for content.

“I think what we do next is we take him to either Boston or New York and he ends up on pay-per-view and then you bring him to Vegas.”

But can he actually be bigger than McGregor? Dan Hardy seems to think he can.

He said on The MMA Hour this week: “I would hope Paddy’s focus is on the belt as opposed to the super fights right now because he is in a very strong position where he can become something way more than Conor McGregor.

“And I know that is a difficult thing for us to imagine, but we couldn’t have imagined that of Conor McGregor before he stepped out of Cage Warriors especially because I think people’s brands change and shift.

“Conor is not the same, he is not as easy to gravitate toward as he used to be at the beginning of his career.

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“It is much easier to relate to people when they are stepping off the streets, going through hard times.

“Now, [McGregor] is living on yachts and stuff and I think he is quite estranged from his fan base.

“I think people will tune in because of the fact that he is an entertainer, but I think people will follow Paddy to a much longer degree than they have Conor because I don’t think Paddy is going to fall off in the same way Conor did and find himself in handcuffs.”

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