Emotional Paddy Pimblett Dedicates Victory At UFC London To Friend Tragically Lost To Suicide
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Paddy Pimblett dedicated his victory over Jordan Leavitt at UFC London to a friend lost to suicide in an emotional post-fight interview.
Pimblett extended his winning record in the UFC to 3-0 with a second-round submission win over Leavitt at the O2 Arena.
After Leavitt tapped out, Pimblett jumped out of the octagon to celebrate with his close friend Molly McCann, who had beaten Hannah Goldy earlier in the evening.
But things took a more serious turn in the post-fight interview, with Pimblett visibly emotional while dedicating his victory to Lee-Joshua Hodgson, a youngster who tragically died last month at the age of four after battling cancer.
Pimblett also used the interview to pay tribute to a friend who had committed suicide in the build-up to the fight.
"I want to dedicate this fight to little baby Lee, the little warrior. More of a fighter than any of us will ever be," said Pimblett.
"But also, I woke up on Friday morning at 4am to a message that one my friends back home had killed themselves. This was five hours before my weigh-in.
Fighting for something bigger than himself ❤️ #UFCLondon pic.twitter.com/A7aNUFgvPU— UFC (@ufc) July 23, 2022
"So Ricky lad, that’s for you. There's a stigma in this world that men can’t talk.
“Listen, if you're a man and you've got weight on your shoulders and you think the only way you can solve it is by killing yourself, please speak to someone. Speak to anyone.
"People would rather... I know I would rather have my mate cry on my shoulder than go to his funeral next week. So please, let's get rid of this stigma. Men start talking."
Mad respect.— FPL Fiddy (@FiddyPug) July 23, 2022
Warrior. Great message— Hafiz Alfarzan (@HAlfarzan) July 23, 2022
He can be a clown but he’s overall a good dude. Kinda reminds me of young Bisping— Will Kelly (@WillKelly34) July 23, 2022
Much respect to the baddy— Connor (@cchiacchia) July 23, 2022
Pimblett was in tears as left the octagon, with Liverpool's iconic anthem 'You'll Never Walk Alone' playing to the crowd.
The Liverpudlian has won praise on social media for his important post-fight message.
"He can be a clown but he's overall a good dude. Kinda reminds me of young [Michael] Bisping," wrote one fan on Twitter.
Another added: "Warrior. Great message."
A third wrote: "Nothing but respect & love for this man."
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, please don’t suffer alone. Call Samaritans for free on their anonymous 24-hour phone line on 116 123.
Featured Image Credit: BT Sport
Topics: Paddy Pimblett, UFC, MMA