Paddy Pimblett rocked the O2 Arena on Saturday night by defeating Jordan Leavitt with a second-round submission to continue his rise as one of the most popular figures in the MMA world.
‘The Baddy’, who became the first person to stop Leavitt in the American’s career, improved his record to 19-3 after forcing the referee to stop the fight with a rear choke.
Pimblett then paid tribute to his friend Ricky, who took his own life two days ago, as well as young fan Lee, who was featured on the shirt worn by Molly McCann when she arrived, who recently died of leukaemia.
“I want to dedicate this fight to little baby Lee, he’s a little warrior, more of a fighter than we’ll ever be,” he said.
“I woke up Friday morning at 4am with a message that a friend of mine had [died]. Then Ricky, this is for you.
“There’s a stigma in this world that men can’t talk. Look, if you’re a man, please talk to someone, talk to anyone. I’d rather my mate cry over my shoulder rather than go to his funeral next week.”
McCann produces an emphatic knockout
Earlier in the night, McCann picked up a first-round TKO victory in her women’s flyweight bout against Hannah Goldy to make it three straight wins for the Liverpudlian.
The crowd favorite had threatened to repeat her spinning elbow strike against Luana Carolina in March when she made contact with the same move to topple Goldy.
From there, she looked to capitalize with a flurry of punches to pin her opponent against the fence before setting the canvas and forcing the referee to intervene.