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Paddy Pimblett refusing to watch Qatar World Cup because 'Molly McCann wouldn't be welcome there'

Max Sherry

| Last updated 

Paddy Pimblett refusing to watch Qatar World Cup because 'Molly McCann wouldn't be welcome there'

Paddy Pimblett says he has not watching the World Cup in Qatar, citing the nation's criminalisation of homosexuality as his reason.

The UFC fan favourite admitted he's refused to follow the tournament this year because 'Molly [McCann wouldn't be welcome there'.


Ever since Qatar won the bid to host the 2022 World Cup, the entire thing has been shrouded in controversy.

From the alleged fixed bidding to the thousands of migrant workers who have died building the stadiums, there's many reasons why people have turned their backs on it.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

But for millions others, Pimblett included, the Gulf country's stance and subsequent treatment of the LGBTQIA+ community is why they're refusing to tune in this year.

Speaking to SPORTbible Australia ahead of his co-headliner bout at UFC 282, Pimblett was asked whether he'd been tracking England's progress.

"No, I have not been watching the World Cup," he said.

"I'm not watching that World Cup, lad. Molly [McCann] wouldn't be welcome there so why would I watch it?"

UFC flyweight McCann is one of a number of openly-gay athletes competing in the UFC.

While no male fighter has come out yet, the female divisions have a few LGBTQIA+ members, most notably current two-weight champion Amanda Nunes.

As for McCann, who has quickly become one of the most-loved mixed martial artists on the planet, she has previously admitted that she won't be watching the World Cup in Qatar.

"I'm not bothered about that," she responded when asked her about England's chances ahead of her bout at UFC 281.

"I'm not feeling the Qatar vibes and all the human rights that haven't gone down there. I won't even be watching it."

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Not only does McCann's talent speak for itself, but it's what she's been doing outside of the octagon which separates her from the rest.

Like her good pal Patrick, McCann has been using her platform to speak on topics far more important than simply MMA.

Earlier this year, she joined MPs, trade unions and thousands of locals from Merseyside to support Enough is Enough, which is a campaign that aims to tackle the cost-of-living crisis in the UK.

“I am a child from poverty. I understand what poverty is,” McCann said in an emotional speech given at Liverpool’s St George’s Hall.

“Where I grew up, we had no heat, we had no food. There was times when I had to eat bags of sugar because that was all that was in the pantry… I would never want another child in this city or in this country to feel how I f**king felt as a kid.”

During her post-fight speeches at UFC events, she has become renowned for starting “f**k the Tories” chants.

“You working class... everybody who’s come for me, I appreciate you,” McCann said during her octagon interview back at UFC London.

“It’s those walk-outs, it’s that energy that you bring, that’s what gets [fighters] finishes.”

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/meatballmolly/thebaddyufc/Supplied

Topics: MMA, UFC, Paddy Pimblett, Football, Football World Cup, Qatar

Max Sherry
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