Paddy Pimblett delivers emotional speech after losing friend to suicide

Paddy Pimblett delivered a powerful speech about men’s mental health after losing a friend to suicide just days before his UFC London win on Saturday night.

Pimblett beat Jordan Leavitt with a second-round submission to extend his UFC winning record to 3-0 in front of a packed-out home crowd and the Liverpudlian was in tears as ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ played out over the speakers.

During an emotional post-fight interview, Pimblett dedicated his victory to a young boy, Lee-Joshua Hodgson, who passed away at the age of four last month with cancer as well as a friend named Ricky who recently committed suicide.

‘I want to dedicate this fight to little baby Lee, the little warrior. More of a fighter than any of us will ever be,’ Pimblett said in the Octagon.

‘But also, I woke up on Friday morning at 4am to a message that one my friends back home had killed themselves. This was five hours before my weigh-in.

‘So Ricky lad, that’s for you. There’s a stigma in this world that men can’t talk.

‘Listen, if you’re a man and you’ve got weight on your shoulders and you think the only way you can solve it is by killing yourself, please speak to someone.

Fighting for something bigger than himself ❤️ #UFCLondon

‘Speak to anyone. I know I would rather have my mate cry on my shoulder than go to his funeral next week. So please, let’s get rid of this stigma. Men start talking.’

Pimblett, nicknamed ‘The Baddy’, secured his victory over American Leavitt with a rear naked choke and was not the only winning Brit at UFC London.

Earlier in the night, fellow Liverpudlian Molly ‘Meatball’ McCann produced an impressive knockout victory over Hannah Goldy, also extending her run to 3-0.

If you are affected by issues related to mental wellbeing or want to talk, please contact the Samaritans on the free helpline 116 123, or visit the website.

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