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Paddy Pimblett praises ‘one of the best grapplers on the planet’ Erin Blanchfield after mollywhopping ‘Meatball’

UFC 281: Blanchfield v McCann Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Erin Blanchfield continued her ascent through the Flyweight division of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in about as emphatic of a fashion as she could have asked for at UFC 281 earlier this month (Nov. 12, 2022).

Tasked with rising star, “Meatball” Molly McCann, in the promotion’s return to New York City, Blanchfield made quick and dominant work of her British counterpart. Once on the ground, Blanchfield, 23, used her Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt-level skills to pummel McCann en route to a first round kimura submission (watch highlights).

The bout was McCann’s first fighting without her teammate and fellow rising star, Paddy Pimblett, on the same card. For three consecutive fights, the duo had fought and won together, dating back to Sept. 2021.

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“Her opponent, world-class,” Pimblett told Pub Talk. “No one else wanted to fight her opponent. She is one of the best grapplers on the planet. No one else wanted to fight that girl. She’s an unbelievable grappler and that fight was always grappler versus striker. If Molly could keep it on the feet then she’d probably knock her out. If Blanchfield could get her down, she’d probably submit her and the latter happened, unfortunately.”

Pimblett’s return to action comes next weekend (Sat., Dec. 10, 2022) at UFC 282 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Facing Jared Gordon in the card’s new co-main event, the Liverpool, England native aims to get things back on track for his team.

As impressed as “The Baddy” was with Blanchfield’s performance, he was simply inspired by his friend’s iron will to push forward and take the fight at all.

“Yeah, it was. A very hard watch. We train all the time together. I’ve watched the highs and lows throughout her career,” Pimblett said. “And the highs and lows through that fight camp. We didn’t even know if she’d end up doing that fight four or five weeks out because she had a few little niggles, a few little injuries. She still got through it, and she still went into the fight, even though she wasn’t 100 percent.”

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 282 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard (on ESPN2/ESPN+) at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 282: “Blachowicz vs. Ankalaev” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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