Lee Hodgeson, or more commonly known as ‘Baby Lee’, tragically passed away last month of cancer. In early 2020, Hodgeson was diagnosed with alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma which is a very rare breed of cancer. It spreads in the body in a very aggressive manner. UFC fighter Paddy Pimblett grew fond of the child after coming across him on social media.
The two developed quite a kinship in the last few months of Baby Lee’s life. Not only did Paddy visit his fellow Liverpool native at his home, he even invited him to his last fight in March against Rodrigo Vargas at the previous UFC Fight Night in London. Lee was pictured with both Paddy and UFC President Dana White. Hence, his tragic passing at the age of 4 has taken its toll on The Baddy.
“I had to go to his funeral the other week lad,” said the 27-year-old. “It was hard, you know what I mean? Very hard. You shouldn’t have to ever go to a 4-year-old’s funeral. It’s just something that no one should ever have to do. Especially his mom and dad, you know what I mean? Shouldn’t have to bury your own child.”
“It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do lad, standing in his funeral. Stood with, Molly come as well, me misses. Standing there crying me eyes out. But, as I say, I’m gonna do this fight for him lad.”
Paddy was very emotional while talking about his dear friend. He recalled the moments of his last fight when Lee was looking up to him with a smile on his face. Although Lee may have passed away, Pimblett feels his friend’s fighting spirit will be with him inside the Octagon as he gears up to fight Jordan Leavitt at UFC London.
Who was Baby Lee and what was his relationship with Paddy Pimblett?
As mentioned before, Baby Lee’s real name was Lee Hodgson and he was born on May 31st of 2018. According to The Mirror, He was diagnosed with the above-mentioned condition in 2020 after he was experiencing some cough and swelling in his groin. It led to the parents taking him to the hospital and there they found out about his stage four cancer.
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There is an Instagram account which told the inspiring life journey of Baby Lee. That is how Paddy initially came across Lee and the two hit it off immediately. Since they came across each other, Pimblett and Hodgson became inseparable and Lee’s untimely passing has caused a great deal of pain to the UFC lightweight fighter.
Pimblett will be extra motivated to make Baby Lee proud this weekend by beating Jordan Leavitt and continuing his winning streak in the UFC to 3 fights in a row.