UFC president, Dana White has insisted lightweight prospect, Paddy Pimblett showed everyone last night at UFC London that he is “the real deal” – off the back of a rallying first round rear-naked choke win over Kazula Vargas.

Improving to 18-3 as a professional, Pimblett, who featured on the main card of The O2 Arena return for the organization – stopped Mexico City native, Vargas with a first round rear-naked choke win, landing his second victory inside the Octagon.

Back in September, Pimblett, a former Cage Warriors featherweight titleholder, had rallied from early round adversity to stop Luigi Vendramini with strikes. And last night, the Huyton native was forced to rally once again.

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Finding himself on the receiving end of some early punishment from underdog, Vargas, Pimblett was taken down before reversing the position and eventually landing on top courtesy of his own Judo throw. 

During a scramble, Pimblett landed on Vargas’ back, where he patiently setup a rear-naked choke, forcing a tap as the raucous home crowd erupted for the Liverpool native.

Paddy Pimblett landed his second Octagon win with last night’s submission at UFC London

The victory came as a part of a stellar night for UK mixed martial arts talent largely, with Pimblett’s teammate, Molly McCann, as well as Tom Aspinall, Arnold Allen, Paul Craig, Jack Shore, and Muhammad Mokaev all landing victories. 

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Reacting to Pimblett’s win, UFC leader, White insisted that the former Cage Warriors standout was the “real deal” after he had been reminded of Next Generation staple’s ability all week. 

“This week I was getting tired of hearing, ‘Oh, wait till you see his (Paddy Pimblett) walkout, wait till you see this and that,” Dana White told assembled media during the post-fight press conference. “I was like, I want to see him fight. He needs to win, you know? But he did, and did spectacularly. And when he was in trouble, he came back and he turned the fight around and won.”

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“I’ll give you an example: On my Instagram, I posted the faceoffs yesterday for the heavyweight fight,” Dana White continued. “Did 120,000 views. Paddy’s (Pimblett) faceoff did 1.3 million (views). So all the talke going into the fight about his walkout and all this sh*t, listen, it’s real. This kid’s got a tonne of hype behind him and tonight he showed everybody that he’s the real deal.” 

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.