Ilia Topuria isn’t fighting Paddy Pimblett this weekend but the two nearly came to blows during UFC London fight week.
Topuria and Pimblett have exchanged words on social media but few expected things to get as heated as they are. Footage surfaced of the two running into each other at a fighter hotel. Fists were flying after Pimblett threw hand sanitizer at Topuria.
Ilia Topuria Shares His Side Of The Story
Speaking to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Ilia Topuria explained why things got heated between him and Paddy.
“It didn’t happen because he called me something yesterday. It comes from a long time ago. He was arguing with one of my close friends Guram [Kutateladze] once on Twitter and he posted like, ‘Now I understand why Russia destroyed Georgia because you are dumps,’ and it makes my blood boil.
“When I saw it I was surprised. I didn’t believe it when I saw that because in 2008 I was living in Georgia when the war happened. It was a very difficult time for me, for my family, for all my friends, for my country. A lot of innocent people, kids were dying in that war, and seeing how someone’s joking about that, it makes my blood boil.”
Topuria then detailed the exchange he had with Paddy at the fighter hotel.
“I texted him, I don’t remember what I tweeted. When they gave me the fight in London, he texted me like three weeks ago, ‘I can’t wait to see you in London. We’ll see if you have the balls to tell me everything you texted me and tweeted,’ bullsh*t. The first day when I came to the hotel, I came out, I finished my interviews, I was walking into the hotel and I saw him. He looked at me like a nice guy and he wanted to shake my hand. I threw the bottle to his face, he threw it back to me, I slipped it and gave him a proper right hand.”
Topuria is set to meet Jai Herbert at UFC London on March 19. Paddy will also be on the card and he’ll take on Kazula Vargas. It’ll be interesting to see if Topuria and Paddy can avoid another conflict.