An altercation between the two fighters occurred at the host hotel Tuesday in London ahead of their respective fights Saturday, with punches and bottles thrown. Nothing too serious appeared to happen before teams and security split the two fighters up.
Below is a video of the short brawl posted by Topuria:
Topuria (11-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) and Pimblett (17-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) have history. They’ve beefed online for about a year, which initially escalated when Pimblett targeted Georgian fighters in online attacks. Topuria was especially upset with Pimblett when the Englishman poked fun at the Russo-Georgian War that killed many Georgians, including Topuria’s family members. Pimblett later apologized for his comments.
“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,” Topuria told MMA Junkie earlier this week. “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.”
Pimblett is set to compete against Mexico’s Rodrigo Vargas in the co-main event of the card, while Topuria is scheduled to compete in his first fight at 155 pounds against Jai Herbert.