Ronnie O'Sullivan answers UFC star Paddy Pimblett's sparring challenge

March 31, 2022
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Phil Haigh ✍️  

Ronnie O'Sullivan Paddy Pimblett
Ronnie O’Sullivan is ‘well up’ for getting into the cage with Paddy Pimblett (Pictures: Getty)

The unexpected bromance between Ronnie O’Sullivan and Paddy Pimblett could soon get physical, after the snooker legend accepted the UFC star’s invitation to a sparring session.

The Rocket and the Baddy met when O’Sullivan played an exhibition tournament in Pimblett’s native Liverpool in February and the pair hit it off.

The six-time Crucible champion went to watch Pimblett submit Rodrigo Vargas at UFC London earlier this month and the martial artists was in Llandudno on Wednesday to see the Rocket beat Mark Williams at the Tour Championship.

It is not going to be the last time they meet, with Pimblett encouraging O’Sullivan to strap on some gloves, put on a mouthpiece and step into the cage with him. Something that the 46-year-old is far from afraid of doing.

‘I am definitely going to try and do some sparring with him, when I next go to Liverpool he has told me I have got to get in the cage. And I am well up for that, it is all fitness,’ O’Sullivan told The Sportsman.

‘I went to Paddy’s last fight in London at the O2 with Damien Hirst, because he is a huge fan of UFC and knows the big bosses.

‘We were sitting front row watching Paddy and Molly McCann too, and it was a great night. I have got to know Paddy over the last few weeks.

‘He is a super, lovely guy and is going to be a real superstar – well, he is already really, but he is going to be mega, he has that X-Factor.’

When the unlikely duo met in Liverpool in February, Ronnie posted on Instagram: ‘Had a great time meeting Paddy, absolute salt of the earth, wishing you all the best in your UFC career, keep smiling mate you’re a one off.’

O’Sullivan is back in action at the Tour Championship on Friday in a blockbuster semi-final against Neil Robertson.

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