Looking to compete at both featherweight and lightweight, “El Matador” expanded his list of potential opponents, and that list now includes Pimblett. Topuria (11-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) has won three consecutive fights at 145 pounds since joining the UFC, and he looks to make his lightweight debut this Saturday at UFC Fight Night 204 in London.
Pimblett, who competes at 155 pounds in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 204, recently went out of his way to say Topuria was going to get knocked out by Jai Herbert and then get sent back to featherweight, among other things.
The animosity stems from an online exchange from early 2021 when Pimblett poked fun at the Russo-Georgian War of 2008. Topuria hasn’t forgotten about those comments and still holds the receipt.
“I don’t know him, but the first interaction that I had with him was because he was arguing with Guram Kutateladze,” Topuria told MMA Junkie in Spanish. “I’m not really sure why or what they were talking about, and all of the sudden I read something I think like, ‘Now I know why Russia bombed Georgia. You guys are a bunch of idiots.’
“So my reaction to someone taking this like a joke when in that war many innocent people died – we’re talking about children and people who had nothing to do with that. So for someone to laugh at that, and it’s also a painful subject for me because family members of mine died in that war and many countrymen of mine. So it’s not something that pleases me and from there everything started.
“And what can I say about someone who pokes fun at that? He’s an idiot and immature. If he thinks I’m going to take a step back when I see him, then he’s badly mistaken. He needs to pray that we don’t cross paths because I’ll go crazy.”
If this guys thinks that this is somehow funny or appropriate then I don’t know what to say. My grandparents just like a lot of other innocent people were killed during the war. I feel ashamed that this kind of people represent our sport. @ufc pic.twitter.com/A2gCgcXD77
— Liana Jojua (@lianajojua) April 2, 2021
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Pimblett apologized for his comments in an interview following the Twitter interactions with Topuria and other Georgian fighters.
Regardless, Pimblett’s comments still don’t sit well with Topuria. On Tuesday, just days after the interview with MMA Junkie, the two crossed paths and got into a brief altercation at the host hotel in London. Nothing consequential came from the scuffle, as both fighters were quickly split. While the altercation may catalyze his desire for a future matchup, Topuria was already chomping at the bit days ago.
“Of course (I want that fight),” Topuria said. “With a lot of honor and pride for all my people, I would love it. The truth is that I would love it. Because if you think about it, if I catch him outside of the octagon, I’m going to hand him a beating, and I’m going to have to pay is recovery. This way, if he accepts a fight with me, I’m going to crack his head, and I’d get paid for beating him up.”
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