Excluding “Fight Island” events, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has officially hit the road for a “Fight Night”-themed event for the first time since March 14, 2020, when Kevin Lee and Charles Oliveira fought in Brazil. London, England gets the international honor of welcoming back the promotion post-pandemic this weekend (Sat., March 19, 2022), and some serious drama has already begun early into fight week.
Competing on the ESPN+-streamed card (see it here) will be one of the Lightweight division’s brightest prospects in former Cage Warriors champion, Paddy “The Baddy” Pimblett, who takes on Rodrigo Vargas directly prior to the evening’s co-main event. Kicking off the night’s main card will be another Lightweight bout featuring Jai Herbert, who faces Ilia Topuria — a top prospect in the 145-pound Featherweight class.
PIVOTAL BANTAMWEIGHT CLASH! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to San Diego, Calif., on Sat., Aug. 13, 2022, for the first time since 2015 with a pivotal battle between top-ranked Bantamweight contenders that will see No. 5-ranked Marlon Vera take on former champion and No. 8-seeded Dominick Cruz. In San Diego’s co-main event, Nate Landwehr and David Onama will collide in a Featherweight showdown between dynamic 145-pound hopefuls.
Despite not being booked to face each other, Topuria wanted to let the brash Englishman know he hadn’t taken too kindly to some past comments and confronted him in the host hotel. Topuria shared the video online and — in typical Pimblett fashion — a response came in a timely manner.
“Imagine trying to jump someone on their own with 5 of your boys & you dont land a single shot & get a bottle of hand sanitizer bounced off your head,” Pimblett quote tweeted in response to Topuria. “you little [clown and mushroom emoji] don’t try to act big like you did something when you [poop emoji] your pants pretending ur boys was holding u back. pussy”
Pimblett, 27, debuted in the Octagon in Sept. 2021 with a first round technical knockout of Luigi Vendramini (watch highlights). Overcoming some early adversity, the performance was nice enough to earn the star in the making a $50,000 bonus.
As for Topuria, the Halle Westfalen, Germany, native has been perfect thus far in his career (11-0), with his last three wins coming inside the Octagon. Topuria’s last win was undeniably his biggest as he knocked out feared submission grappler Ryan Hall in the first round of their UFC 264 clash (watch highlights).