Matt Frevola called and now Paddy Pimblett has answered.
Following a stunning first-round knockout over Drew Dober at UFC 288, Frevola wasted no time turning his attention to Pimblett while calling for a fight against the superstar from Liverpool later this year. Of course, Pimblett is out of action right now after undergoing ankle surgery that will likely keep him sideline for several months but he still responded to the callout on social media.
“Bit of a weird time to call me out when I can’t even train,” Pimblett wrote on Instagram. “But yeah I’d fight Frevola when I’m back. Probably the easiest route into the top 15 [rankings].”
For his part, Frevola didn’t take any offense to Pimblett’s slight jab about the “easiest route” to get into the rankings because in reality he called for a fight against an opponent currently not listed among the best of the best in the lightweight division.
Now that Frevola has taken out a veteran like Dober, he loves the idea of testing himself against Pimblett, who has quickly become one of the most talked about fighters on the entire UFC roster.
“I see where he’s coming from,” Frevola said on The MMA Hour. “You look at the top 15, it’s a murderer’s row. That’s what I always say about the lightweight division, anyone can beat anybody on any given day.
“I definitely feel that way about myself. I can knock out anybody in the world if you give me the opportunity. I know I’m human, too, I can get knocked out as well. That’s the fight game. We do everything we can to be the hammer. Me and Paddy, it would be a fun fight.”
Because Pimblett is sidelined while recovering from ankle surgery, there’s no exact timeline on when exactly he’ll be able to compete again.
According to Frevola, he has no problem waiting, especially for a fight of that magnitude, and perhaps he could even get the opportunity to fight close to his home in Long Island with the UFC targeting a return to New York City in November.
“I think best case scenario — that’s the world’s most famous arena Madison Square Garden in November,” Frevola said. “He’s a Barstool [Sports] guy. Barstool is right in New York City. I think we could have a fun time doing it then.
“If he needs more time, I wouldn’t be mad about Las Vegas in December. I just want to fight at the end of the year. I’ve had ankle surgery, too. I’ve still got two pins in my ankle. I fought six months after an ankle surgery. He should be ready.”
As far as the matchup, Frevola likes his chances against Pimblett but more than anything he just believes they would put on an entertaining fight together.
Whether the fight stays standing or hits the ground, Frevola has confidence that he can test Pimblett anywhere and everywhere and he definitely looks forward to that kind of challenge.
“It could go many ways,” Frevola said. “One of the things that excites me is he always throws on the feet, he goes for it. He goes out there, he throws big kicks, big punches, comes forward, he goes for it. Maybe I counterstrike, knock him out quick or maybe he comes out a little a patient and I push the pace, come forward and take him down, beat him up.
“I’m also excited to grapple with him. His jiu-jitsu is high level. I love jiu-jitsu, I feel like my jiu-jitsu is high level. I’ll grapple with him. I’ve still got to show that [Matt] Serra [Brazilian jiu-jitsu], that Gracie Tampa South Matt Arroyo jiu-jitsu. But that’s what I love about mixed martial arts. I’ve still got so many weapons I want to show in the octagon and I feel like I could show a lot fighting a guy like Paddy.”