Ilia Topuria asserts that the UFC has intentionally kept him and Paddy Pimblett apart.
There was an incident between Topuria (12-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) and Pimblett (15-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 204 in London in March. When discussing the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia, Pimblett made certain statements that Topuria took the wrong way and for which he later issued an apology. After a short argument at the London hotel hosting the UFC, security intervened.
However, the UFC apparently didn’t want to take any chances this time because both combatants are scheduled to appear on the main card of UFC 282 this coming Saturday.
Topuria told reporters at a press conference before the fight, “I don’t really care about that.” ‘F*ck him,’
“I went to the PI two days ago, they took him from the back entrance,” he said. No, he won’t be checking in at the hotel. Why? This is why: he’s terrified, so f*ck him. I don’t have the ability to bully others, therefore, if they are avoiding me, what can I do?
Opening the main program at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas is Topuria vs. Bryce Mitchell, while Pimblett is co-headlining against Jared Gordon. After preliminary rounds on ESPN2 and early rounds on ESPN+, the main card will stream on pay-per-view.