The hometown boy Paddy ‘The Baddy’ Pimblett and Nad Narimani squared off in the main event of Cage Warriors 82 for the Cage Warriors Featherweight World Championship.
There was a strange symmetry as Paddy was looking to defend his strap for the second time against Nad Narimani who was making his second attempt at taking the championship.
Paddy came into the arena to a deafening roar from his fellow 6,000 Liverpudlians at the Echo Arena. Looking loose and relaxed, dancing and smiling in his usual manner, Paddy looked every bit the axe murderer the moment he locked eyes with his opponent as his face dropped and his eyes deadened.
After Marc Goddard got the action started, the fight fell into a pattern that could be copied and pasted four more times to tell you the story of the fight. Paddy looked to control the range using a decent jab, leg kicks, and the occasional flashy jumping switch kick or spinning elbow before shooting for lazy single legs that were defended or reversed easily.
Nad appeared unconcerned with Paddy’s weapons and pressured throughout, which caused Paddy to back up in straight lines allowing Nad to catch the reigning champion again and again with hard shots against the cage.
The first takedown attempt from Paddy came as Nad pressured Paddy against the fence, faking a level change he came up and caught Paddy with a hard one-two that snapped Paddy’s head back causing Paddy to shoot in for a weak, panicked single leg which Nad defended easily.
Paddy showed inexperience in holding onto the single leg for far too long when it was clear that it wasn’t on. Nad punished Paddy with heavy blows that caused Paddy to roll to his back.
Time and time again throughout the fight, Paddy would back up allowing Nad to push him up against the fence before eating shots and shooting for lazy, weak takedowns. Nad was the stronger, more aggressive, busier fighter and thoroughly deserved to win this fight.
Despite all three judges scoring the fight for Nad, I personally believe only one judge scored this fight correctly, with a 50-45 five round whitewash for the new champion Nad Narimani being the correct call.
Paddy is still very young and is a strong European prospect. Hopefully, the hyperbole and comparisons with Conor McGregor stop now, allowing the Scouse featherweight to develop at his own rate.