Paddy ‘The Baddy’ Pimblett has opened up about the remarkable response to his powerful speech about mental health, at UFC London.
The 27-year-old explained how people have since told him that his words stopped them from taking their life.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Paddy said: "I've had loads of comments and messages and stuff, people saying 'Without you I wouldn't even be here now'.
"It blows your mind. Messages like that will mean more than any win ever will - someone saying to me, 'I didn't take my life last night cause of something you said'."
Asked if that had happened, he continued: "Yeah, I've had a few messages like that and a few comments like that.
"It's just mad, it really is, because I never wanted to do this. I just wanted to go and fight.
"Like I said, I like getting punched and punching people, and entertaining people at the same time. But there's bigger things in the world that aren't getting addressed."
Pimblett extended his MMA record to 19-3 with the win over Leavitt, which was his third win in three UFC fights, on the Aspinall vs Blades card.
The Scouse fighter then opened up on the fact he'd learned in the build up to the fight that his friend had taken his own life and urged others to speak up.
"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," the fighter said.
He also dedicated the win to youngster Lee-Joshua Hodgson, who had tragically died of cancer just a month before the second round stoppage.
The former Cage Warriors' featherweight champion's speech has already seen an increase in the number of mental health clubs in the north of England.
As well as the win, and the huge impact his speech had, it was a good night for Pimblett and his fellow scouse UFC star Molly 'Meatball' McCann.
The duos wins helped Drake win $1.5 million, following his bet on the pair, and he promised to buy them gifts after they landed him the huge sum.
Here's a list of the leading mental health helplines and services that are just a call away in the UK:
- Samaritans are there 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and will talk to you about anything that's bothering you. You can call 116 123 (free from any phone), email [email protected] or visit some branches in person. You can also call the Welsh Language Line on 0300 164 0123 from 7pm to 11pm every day.
- The Mix take calls from under 25s on 0808 808 4994 from seven days a week from 3pm to 12am. You can request support by email using the form on The Mix website or using their crisis text messenger service.
- Papyrus HOPELINEUK is there for under 35s struggling with suicidal feelings, or those who are concerned about a young person who might be struggling. You can call them on 0800 068 4141 every day from 9am to 12am. You can also email [email protected] or text 07860 039 967.
- The Nightline website allows students to see if their university or college offers a night-time listening service. Nightline phone operators are all students too.
- Switchboard is there for people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender and can be reached on 0300 330 0630 from 10am to 10pm every day. You can also email here or use their webchat service. Phone operators all identify as LGBT+.
- The Community Advice and Listening Line (C.A.L.L). is available for those who live in Wales and can be contacted on 0800 132 737, which is open 24/7. You can also text 'help' followed by a question to 81066.
Featured Image Credit: Sky Sports/UFC
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