UFC Fight Night 208 results: Paddy Pimblett’s tapout of Jordan Leavitt came with heavy heart

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Paddy Pimblett had to go through a little adversity, but he came through the way he promised he would.

Pimblett (19-3 MMA, 3-0 UFC) had some struggles most of the first round against Jordan Leavitt (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) in front of his raucous home fans in England. But he came on strong late in the round, then in the second hurt Leavitt with a knee before he sank in a rear-naked choke to end the fight.

Afterward, he said he learned of the suicide of a friend just hours before the weigh-ins for UFC Fight Night 208.

“That’s not me. That was sh*t. Pardon my French, but I’m better than that,” Pimblett said before delivering a message of hope for an end to the stigma that men, in particular, can’t share their emotions without it being considered a weakness. “I’d rather you cry on my shoulder than go to your funeral.”

The lightweight bout was part of the UFC Fight Night 208 main card at The O2 in London.

Pimblett pushed Leavitt back quickly with a kick, then threw another one and backed him to the fence. When Pimblett rushed him, Leavitt elbowed his way out and clinched Pimblett and dropped him to the canvas. They were back to the feet quickly, but Leavitt stayed clung to him. Leavitt dropped downand scooped Pimblett up with a single leg and slammed him to the canvas.

But he landed right into a Pimblett guillotine choke. Pimblett tried to adjust his grip and lost it. Two minutes in, Leavitt brought the fight back to the feet, but kept tied to Pimblett. Pimblett jumped for another guillotine attempt, but lost it in a hurry.

The crowd let Leavitt know midway through the round that his game plan wasn’t appreciated. When Pimblett finally broke away with 45 seconds left in the round, Leavitt tried to chase him. But Pimblett landed a kick, then ended the round on top working for a choke of his own.

Leavitt worked early front kicks to keep distance, then landed a nice right hand. Leavitt worked for a takedown again, but Pimblett stayed on his feet. After a while, it allowed Pimblett to work for a standing arm-triangle choke. Then he landed a big knee. Pimblett wrapped him up in a body triangle and trapped Leavitt’s right arm in his legs.

He worked again for a rear-naked choke and got his arm under the chin. It was tight, and before long Leavitt had to tap. Leavitt never had been finished in his career. The finish came at the 2:46 mark of the middle frame.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 208 results include:

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Twitter reacts to Paddy Pimblett's submission of Jordan Leavitt at UFC Fight Night 208