Cage Warriors Fighting Championship 68
May 3 | Liverpool, England
Jesse Denis: In MMA, tacking the word “flying” ahead of anything usually raises the interest of fans, regardless of how good the technique actually was. But, what Paddy Pimblett did to Conrad Hayes on the third day of this past May was definitely worth taking note of.
The Cage Warriors 68 bout seemed to be going in “Paddy The Baddy’s” direction from the jump. After completing a takedown and securing a dominant position for some time, Pimblett could have easily coasted his way through the first round of this bantamweight tilt. After Hayes got back to his feet and pressed the action against the cage, what followed was one of the more visually stunning submissions of 2014. As his countryman would latch onto a leg in order to turn things around, the 19-year-old fighter would use it against him. Pimblett sprang off the ground, sandwiched between the cage and Hayes, wrapping his legs around his opponent and locking up a triangle. Hayes would try to slam his way out in a last-ditch attempt to survive, but it was all for naught: Pimblett grabbed his defending arm and added an armbar to the mix to ensure the tap.
James Goyder: Pimblett was initially targeting a kimura, but as Hayes worked in vain for a single-leg takedown, the teenager switched suddenly to the flying triangle, surprising everyone, his opponent included. With Hayes pressing against him Pimblett was able to lean back because the combination of his opponent’s force and the cage behind him supported his body weight, giving him the perfect position from which to throw his legs up and lock in the triangle. It was a sudden and dramatic transition which effectively finished the fight because although Hayes succeeded in slamming the 18-year-old Liverupdlian onto his back, Pimblett had the presence of mind to crank the arm, giving Hayes no more chances to escape.
Jordan Breen: A spindly Scouse teenager with a name like Paddy Pimblett is precisely the sort of bizarre fun that I watch MMA for. But, the precocious Pimblett is not just a funny name and an accent, he's damn exciting and creative in the cage. Honestly, I'm not sure it even really does the submission justice to call it a "flying triangle," as insane as that sounds.
When Pimblett is fighting for the kimura and Hayes ducks, he realizes he's got his shot. Pimblett climbed Hayes' torso with his legs, first sinking his left around his hip for support, then pulling his own right leg over Hayes' shoulder for the first part of the triangle, then bringing his left leg up to finish it and tightening the whole package. Oh yeah, he locked it in while elevated completely vertically, throwing elbows at Hayes. As is often the case with flying triangles, it took a good minute for Hayes to eventually succumb when they hit the floor. The fact is, it's hard to set up every airtight intricacy of triangle choke while leaping and thrusting your groin at your opponent's head. Usually, you surprise them by getting the position, then have to smooth out the details.
This was no different, but Pimblett still did everything right. Hayes does a solid job defending: he tried to go to the side and push behind the knee, but Pimblett kept moving his hips, hooked the leg and blocked him. He tries to put his foot in Pimblett's armpit and sit down, but Pimblett popped his arm for the tap. The "chess match" metaphor for grappling is a pretty trite idea, but this is a good example of it, as even Pimblett's "flying triangle" is masterfully done part-by-part, waiting and baiting Hayes to move himself further into danger. Despite the high-flying, elbowing-throwing theatrics here, Pimblett takes Hayes by the hand and leads him down the corridor to defeat, step by step. It rules.
Number 8 » A Choke By Any Other Name