Home » Ilia Topuria heats up UFC rivalry with Paddy Pimblett

Ilia Topuria heats up UFC rivalry with Paddy Pimblett

Kirk Miller
6 May 2022 |
Updated: 6 May 2022

After sparring on social media, UFC fighter Ilia Topuria wants real-world action against Paddy Pimblett in the Octagon. “El Matador” Topuria now has fellow-newcomer Pimblett in his sights after increasing animosity between the two. British fighter Pimblett doesn’t seem to have a lot of interest in entertaining that though.

Russo-Georgian War grievances

Ilia Topuria (12-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) was left aggrieved by comments from Pimblett (18-3 MMA, 2-0 UFC) during Pimblett’s argument with Georgian fighter Guram Kutateladze on social media last year.

Paddy “The Baddy” Pimblett referenced the 2008 war when Russia invaded Georgia during an insult to Kutateladze.

British fighter Pimblett apologised for the comments about the war, in which many Georgians died, after the spar on Twitter with Topuria and other Georgian fighters.

Pimblett and Topuria scrap it out

There was a brief altercation in a London hotel between Pimblett and Topuria ahead of their respective fights at March’s UFC Fight Night 204. Punches were thrown and then Topuria was hit in the head with a hand sanitiser bottle before the two parties were quickly separated by security.

Will a meeting happen?

Topuria, who has won all three of his bouts since joining the UFC, further aggravated the rivalry following a vicious victory over Jai Herbert by a knockout on Saturday. The Spaniard stated that the only way that Pimblett would face him in the octagon was if the British fighter was forced into the fight.

Pimblett’s reaction, after submitting Kazula Vargas, was to simply suggest that the Liverpool star was the main draw and that no one even knew who Topuria was before starting the spat. Pimblett stated in response: “Everyone wants to hang on my coattails.” However, Pimblett did credit Topuria’s impressive knockout punch, a massive right hand.

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