At this point, Paddy Pimblett’s behavior out of the cage has become almost as big a story as his performances inside it. But, unlike most fighters who find themselves saddled with a reputation for wild behavior, it’s not so much what he says or does—or what laws he might break—that’s garnering him all the attention. Instead, for the Liverpool born talent, it’s all about what he eats.
In a recent interview on noted Jackass stuntman Steve-O’s Wild Ride podcast, Pimblett gave some details about just how wild his diet can get. While he didn’t go into the specifics of the meal, the 27-year-old recently tallied up all the calories from one of his binges. The numbers could feed a family of five.
“I eat so many calories it’s unbelievable. On Monday I actually gauged what I ate,” Pimblett explained, recounting his post fight meals following his victory over Kazula Vargas back in March (transcript via Sport Bible). “I had 10,700 calories. And that’s without me doing a food challenge. That’s just me being a fat bastard.”
It’s not just a one-off day of feasting, however. More than a month removed from his win over Jordan Leavitt, Pimblett told Steve-O that if he were to step on the scale right now, he’d be over the light heavyweight limit.
“If I had gotten on them scales tonight after we’ve went and ate and fucking watched the UFC?” Pimblett said. “210 [pounds], easy. I get bloated, lad.”
The ‘Baddy’ did weigh-in during the interview, hitting 206.6 lbs (fully clothed.)
Others have weighed in on the Next Gen MMA talent’s habits, voicing their concerns that Pimblett is only making his career more difficult on himself. “We know that fluctuating and cutting that much weight is very bad, and it definitely doesn’t prolong your career,” UFC president Dana White told media members during a recent presser, before adding that “[Pimblett]’s a grown man. He can do whatever the hell he wants to do.”
Featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski offered his own notes of caution, explaining that he hasn’t just heard about the dangers, but experienced them himself—fluctuating between 145 lbs and 190 lbs early in his career
“I used to go from 145 to 190 [pounds] in one week,” Volkanovski said of his own experiences. “It’s not healthy. It’s terrible for you. It blows my mind how his head just balloons like that. It’s quite funny.”
For Pimblett’s part, it sounds like he’s at least somewhat aware that what he’s doing isn’t at all healthy for him. Explaining his binge eating, Pimblett noted that he used to have some problems with gambling, and feels he may have moved his addiction over to food.
“I’ve had party days, you know what I mean, I’ve been bad then. I got into gambling a little and I was bad with that. I think now it’s moved on to food,” Pimblett revealed. “I genuinely think I’m a food addict. I think I’ve got a bit of an eating disorder because of MMA. The weight cuts, dieting, I genuinely think I have a bit of an eating disorder. People when they go eat with me they are visibly shocked at how much I can eat.”
Currently, Pimblett is hoping to fight in December at UFC 282, having heard rumors that the PPV card might play home to Jon Jones’ heavyweight debut against Stipe Miocic. That’ll probably give him all the time he needs to shed his recently acquired mass, but it’s worth wondering how many times he can put his body through that kind of stress before lightweight becomes a tough cut to make.