Lightweight prospect Paddy Pimblett has detailed his hotel altercation with fellow UFC London competitor Ilia Topuria, and even debuted a new nickname for the Georgian.
This weekend sees the UFC return to England’s capital for the first time since 2019. In two notable main card lightweight scraps, Paddy Pimblett will be making his sophomore appearance in the Octagon, while #15-ranked featherweight Topuria will be competing at 155 pounds for the first time.
Sharing the cage with Topuria in the main card opener will be Englishman Jai Herbert. Three fights later, “The Baddy,” who is expected to be showered with perhaps the loudest cheers of the night, will collide with Rodrigo “Kazula” Vargas.
While they may be preparing for different opponents, Pimblett and Topuria nearly got into full-blown fight themselves at the fighter hotel on Tuesday, which was apparently over a tweet posted by the Brit in 2021.
In a video recorded by a member of Topuria’s entourage, the Georgian can be seen approaching the Liverpudlian. The pair were split after a number of thrown items and insults were exchanged.
“Who’s that? Oh, hand sanitizer boy? Is that who you mean? Yeah, that’s his name from now on,” said Pimblett. “Don’t refer to him as his name lad, his name’s hand sanitizer. It got bounced off his head. But I don’t concern myself with none of that lad. He wanted to come at me and try to act hard, and he got put in his place.
“I was stood there, on me own, and there was about six of them. And he done nothing,” Pimblett continued. “If he wanted to do something, he would’ve come around the table and tried to have a fight with me. But he didn’t. He stood on the other side of the table because he knows what’s good for him.”
After confirming that Topuria approached him prior to the incident, Pimblett branded the Georgian’s actions as “little man syndrome.”
“As soon as he come out of those double doors he snarled me. So I looked at him and said, ‘What?'” Pimblett recalled. “And then he walked towards me and I said, ‘What’s happening lad?’ And then as he got close to me, he like, swiped a slap at me. Obviously lad, if you raise your hand to me, I’m gonna do something.
“I stepped back and picked the hand sanitizer up and bounced it off his head. He swung… I moved out of the way with a bit of ease. He’s just got a little bit of small man syndrome. He’s only 5’7″, isn’t he?”
Pimblett Explains Why He Didn’t Let Topuria Clash Escalate
Despite the launching of sanitary objects and a few loose swings from Topuria, the pair’s altercation didn’t quite reach the point where fists connected.
Pimblett explained that, with an exciting appearance at UFC London looming, he couldn’t risk losing his spot on the card, either through injury or disciplinary actions.
“I wasn’t punching him because I’m not breaking my hand and not being able to fight and earn my money on the weekend… I can’t let something like that happen lad. I can’t start throwing punches and get cut off the card… Especially (against) someone so meaningless. Who even is he? Seriously, who is Mr. Hand Sanitizer? He’s a no one.”
While the interaction remains a hot topic, both Pimblett and Topuria will be looking to turn their full attention to the task at hand this Saturday. if both are victorious, perhaps we’ll see them share the Octagon down the line.
Would you like to see Paddy Pimblett and Ilia Topuria settle their differences inside the Octagon?