Paddy Pimblett was overwhelmed after being thanked by a fan for saving his life after speaking out about men’s mental health earlier this year.
The 27-year-old dedicated his victory over Jordan Leavitt at London’s O2 Arena in July to late friend Ricky, whose death he had learnt about hours before the pre-fight weigh-in.
On the first episode of web series UFC 282 Embedded, Pimblett was approached and thanked by Grant Edmond for his words at a meet-and-greet event in Las Vegas, and was visibly moved by the gesture.
“That means more than any fight ever will, someone telling me they didn’t kill themselves because of what I said,” Pimblett told UFC Embedded. “It gets you here.”
Edmond related his own experience as well, explaining why he wanted to thank the Liverpudlian MMA fighter in person.
“I have gone through a rough period this year and was very suicidal, and Paddy’s message when he was in the ring talking about his buddy who passed away saved my life,” Edmond told UFC Embedded.
“I just wanted to say thank you to him.”
In August, Pimblett told Sky Sports “people with a platform should be trying to help” while speaking candidly about how overwhelmed he had been by the responses since he spoke out about men’s mental health following the suicide of his friend.
“I feel people in a position like me with a platform should be trying to help people,” Pimblett said. “It’s nice to be nice and me grabbing the mic and saying that on interview cost nothing. Other people are too concerned about their own image and money in the bank to do stuff like that.
“I have had loads of messages, people saying ‘without you, I wouldn’t even be here now’. Messages like that will mean more than any win ever will, someone saying, ‘I didn’t take my life last night because of something you’ve said’.
“It’s not something I ever wanted to do. I just wanted to go and fight. I like being punched and punching people and entertaining at the same time, that’s what I’m good at.
“But there are bigger things in the world that aren’t getting addressed and I just thought I’d mention something. There is more of a purpose than just fighting.
“It’s not just Ricky, multiple lads in Liverpool have taken their own life. Some that I know, some that I don’t know. It’s something I have seen a lot lately. You see it all over social media. It hit me like a ton of bricks when it happened with Ricky.
“I hadn’t seen him for two or three months. I am not going to sit here and say he was one of my best mates, but he was an acquaintance I had and if I saw him out and about, we’d stand there for 15 minutes talking.”
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