Tuesday, July 23, 2024

UFC 304: Paddy Pimblett, Molly McCann and the gym that made them

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Despite five wins from five fights in the UFC, Pimblett, like McCann and Cullen, has experienced the ups and downs of life in the octagon and outside of it.

In July 2022, he made headlines around the world after a sensational win over American Jordan Leavitt.

In an emotional post-fight interview, he appealed for men to talk about their mental health, revealing a friend had recently died by suicide.

Such is Pimblett’s charisma, warm-heartedness and authenticity, that Liverpool therapy centre James’ Place – a suicide prevention charity focused on men – reported a surge in enquiries following his speech.

“In this city, you hear it all the time about people killing themselves. When my friend took his own life I felt I had to say something. People praised me but I just felt I was doing my part as anyone in my position should be doing – it matters. It’s more important than fighting,” he says.

Fast forward six months though and it wasn’t praise he was hearing.

Pimblett was jeered when he was awarded a controversial decision victory over Jared Gordon in Las Vegas. Soon after, he attracted more criticism, following a dispute with MMA commentator Ariel Helwani.

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