Ilia Topuria says UFC is protecting Paddy Pimblett from fight against him

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There’s no love lost between UFC featherweight Ilia Topuria and UFC lightweight Paddy Pimblett. Both fighters were all over each other during the UFC 282 fight week.

Ilia Topuria is now gunning for a fight against Paddy Pimblett and he believes it’s one of the biggest fights to make. The two engaged in a lot of verbal sparring during the pre-fight news conference. The UFC security even restrained Topuria to stop a fight from starting. The two men nearly engaged in an altercation at UFC London earlier this year.

Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Is UFC protecting Paddy Pimblett from Ilia Topuria?

Ilia Topuria recently appeared on Ariel Helwani’s show The MMA Hour, where he stated that the UFC was protecting Paddy Pimblett from him.

I feel like the UFC’s protecting him me,” stated Topuria on The MMA Hour alongside Ariel Helwani. “I don’t know why. In reality, that’s the fight to make right now, because it’s one of the biggest fights in the UFC. We can perfectly sell a pay-per-view. That fight makes more excitement for people than [many] championship fights.”

He continued. “…I know that I’m going to knock him out. I’m way better than him everywhere. So right now, you have a fight against Paddy against who cares, I don’t think people are very excited about watching him fight. Because he talks well, he’s a great promoter, but as a fighter he sucks. Right now, I’m the guy. Everyone wants to watch me fight. You put me against anyone, they’re going to watch.”

In reality, [UFC] never made an official offer to Paddy to fight against me. I don’t think he’s going to turn down the fight, maybe yes. I don’t know, but the UFC didn’t want the fight, yet.” (H/T –

Ilia Topuria is coming off of a second round submission win over Bryce Mitchell, whereas Paddy Pimblett defeated Jared Gordan in a controversial decision.

Do you guys want to see the fight between Ilia Topuria and Paddy Pimblett? How do you think the match-up will play out? Let us know in the comments section below.




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