Let there be no doubt: Ilia Topuria really wants to fight Paddy Pimblett.
He wanted to fight Paddy one year ago when the Liverpudian made jokes about the Russo-Georgian war, a conflict that killed some of Topuria’s family. He still wanted the fight after Pimblett apologized. He continued to stump for the fight leading up to UFC London, where both men would compete. And he almost got the fight when he ran into “The Baddy” in the fighter hotel, kicking off a near-brawl.
After his big knockout win over Jai Herbert, he accepted the boos from United Kingdom fans in to call out Pimblett. “I want that blonde b—ch,” he declared. “That Paddy b—ch.”
But, thus far Paddy seems uninterested in the fight. During the UFC London post-fight media scrum, Topuria was angrily resigned to the fact that he was being ducked.
“Paddy? Never. Never,” Topuria said. “I don’t think [he’ll fight me]. Maybe if Dana stayed with him with a gun, maybe yes – and they force him to go inside the cage with me maybe. Otherwise, I don’t think so. I don’t think he has the balls to fight me.”
Topuria made his Lightweight debut on Saturday as a late replacement and plans to return to 145 pounds where he’s putting together a run at the title. But, he’ll happily fight at 155, especially against Pimblett.
“With Paddy, I don’t give a f—k about any weight class, you know?” he said. “Even if he wants to come and not make the weight, I’m going to fight him, you know? I don’t care about the weight with Paddy.
“Really, he’s nobody,” Topuria continued in Spanish (translation via MMA Fighting). “He’s s—t. No, he’s nothing. The one who’s ranked is me. Since I take it personally, if the UFC wants it, I can still fight him tonight in that hotel.”
For complete UFC London: “Volkov vs. Aspinall” results and play-by-play, click here.