LONDON – Ilia Topuria was elated Saturday following his violent knockout win over Jai Herbert at UFC Fight Night 204 – so much so, he didn’t want to even utter the name of the fighter who has become his arch rival in recent months.
With the rivalry turning physical during fight week and the two enemies’ placement within four fights of each other on the same card, Topuria (12-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) was asked almost immediately about Paddy Pimblett (18-3 MMA, 2-0 UFC) at a post-fight news conference.
“Right now, I feel so happy, I don’t want to waste my words about him, so f*ck him,” Topuria told MMA Junkie and other reporters.
Initially, Topuria wasn’t interested in giving Pimblett attention, but as the news conference progressed, he let his stronger feelings out – especially when asked about the likelihood of the two fighting in the future.
“Paddy? Never. Never,” Topuria said. “I don’t think so. Maybe if Dana (White) 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 has fought at both featherweight and lightweight in the UFC. Pimblett has solely fought at lightweight thus far in the UFC.
“With Paddy, I don’t give a f*ck about any weight class, you know?” Topuria 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.”
Pimblett fight aside, Topuria plans to continue to entertain offers at both featherweight and lightweight. Whichever weight class opportunities provide him the best chance to stay active, he will take.
“I felt really good, but I want to go back to featherweight, too,” Topuria said. “Of course, I’m going to stay at lightweight, too. I will be active in both divisions. … I’m fighting right now in lightweight and I fought in lightweight division because I want to stay active. I want to make three or four fights this year in featherweight and lightweight. My goal is to stay active.”
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