Paddy Pimblett recognizes the influence Conor McGregor has had on the sport of MMA.
During his recent appearance on the Anything Goes With James English podcast, Pimblett said the former two-division champion opened the door for many aspiring fighters to pursue a career in MMA.
Pimblett claimed McGregor "changed the face of the sport" but isn't given enough credit for it.
"He changed the game. He doesn't get enough respect for it because he changed the game. People go on about him now but he literally changed the face of the sport, so you've got to give him the respect for that."
Catch Pimblett's remarks about Conor McGregor in the video below (from 36:20):
Conor McGregor's rise to UFC stardom is often attributed to his entertaining fighting style and charismatic persona. The Irishman has headlined all five of the highest-selling UFC events the promotion has hosted.
Pimblett feels his career could follow a similar path to McGregor's. The 26-year-old said he will be the biggest draw in the coming years and may well headline a pay-per-view event against McGregor at Anfield Stadium.
Acknowledging McGregor has plenty of fight left in him, Pimblett also dismissed the narrative that 'The Notorious' will never be as good as he once was.
Paddy Pimblett explains why he believes he can beat Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier
Paddy Pimblett said he views himself as the best fighter in the world. He carries a mentality that forces him never to feel inferior to his opponents, even if they are the likes of Conor McGregor or Dustin Poirier.
"I always say you can't be a fighter if you don't believe in yourself. When people ask me 'can you beat Poirier or can you beat McGregor?', I say 'yes, why wouldn't I?' Why wouldn't I beat them? Why would I think in my own head that someone else could beat me up? If you're doing MMA or any fighting sport, and you think anyone can beat you, you're in the wrong sport. You've got to look at it like 'I am the best in the world.' Simple as that," said Pimblett.
Pimblett made his UFC debut last month against Luigi Vendramini. Putting the lightweight division on notice, he knocked out his Brazilian opponent in the first round.