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British UFC fighter highlights mental health issues

8th August 2022

British UFC fighter highlights mental health issues

The Paddy the Baddy British bad boy UFC fighter practically sold out the entire event in the London 02 arena, for many he was the 'crowds main event'.

In the build up to the fight he talked about tea bagging his opponent, and the crowd were hotly anticipating a tremendous fight. This was his big entry fight for the UFC in the states.

When he entered the arena the whole place lit up with the crowd singing “Oh paddy the baddddyyy”. Everyone was jumping up and down with their blonde wigs on, putting on there best scouse accent. It was a hilarious scene. 

Paddy the Baddy rocked into the 02 arena and delivered a lighting fast knockout of Molly McCann.

All eyes were on him. Yet, there was another part yet to be played, a crescendo to an amazing event. It came at the end of the fight just after Bruce Buffer began announcing the winner.

Paddy the Baddy the victor fell to his knees and all of the bravado and antics suddenly dissipated. 

The interviewer came up to Paddy and asked him about how he felt after the fight. Paddy the Baddy sobbed and sobbed, it was clear he was overwhelmed with emotion.

It was touching to see this man who had put on a brave face to fight suddenly drop to the floor collapsing from the emotions he had held within.

In the build up to this fight, Paddy had welled up before over the lost of his young friend who lost his life to Leukaemia. The boy was only 4 years old, and would be at every fight camp with Paddy. This was not the only loss Paddy had had in the build up to this fight. A few nights before the fight Paddy was also notified at 4am that his friend had committed suicide. 

What followed was one of the most powerful speeches from an athlete that we have seen in a long time.

With silence around the arena, Paddy managed to say a few words on the microphone. This time he was pleading with us.

“If you are a man and you are thinking of taking your own life, please reach out to someone. I'd rather have my friend cry on my shoulder, than be at his funeral.”

The display of emotion shows even UFC fighters have feelings. No matter how tough they are on the outside, mentally tuned for the fight, deep inside they have feelings. Paddy could not hold back his tears, the emotion in the ring.

I'm grateful to Paddy the Baddy for using this opportunity to benefit young people around the world, across the Atlantic for highlighting an issue facing many young Americans.

He has inspired us to look within ourselves and examine our lives.

Photo by Stefano Pollio on Unsplash

  

Source: Saul Writing