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Morning Report: Paddy Pimblett believes Ilia Topuria is ‘scared to fight’ Max Holloway: ‘He knows what will happen’

Paddy Pimblett still isn’t sold on Ilia Topuria.

The beef between England’s “Baddy” and the undefeated 15-0 “El Spaniard” truly feels like a decade ago. In reality, Pimblett and Topuria nearly came to blows inside a UFC host hotel two years ago in London when scheduled for their respective clashes against Rodrigo Vargas and Jai Herbert in lightweight affairs.

Topuria’s clash with “The Black Country Banger” was a one-off at 155 pounds as he scored a vicious second-round knockout before returning to the featherweight ranks. This past February, Topuria made good on his promises by capturing the division’s title with another second-round knockout, dethroning the legend Alexander Volkanovski. Next up is likely to be former champion Max Holloway for his first defense. If so, Pimblett thinks his old rival will be one and done as a titleholder.

“I think I’ve got the same as everyone. Everyone’s picking Max, know what I mean?” Pimblett said on his YouTube channel. “‘Hand sanitizer boy’s’ scared to take the fight, doesn’t want to take the fight against Max because he knows what will happen.

“He fought [Alex] Volkanovski at the perfect time, coming back off getting knocked out like 10 weeks later. He got lucky there, to be honest.”

Pimblett, 29, also won that same night Topuria beat Herbert, scoring a first-round rear-naked choke over Vargas. He’s since won thrice to extend his current streak to seven (five in UFC, 21-3 overall).

The former Cage Warriors champion next plans to break into the official UFC lightweight Top 15 when he battles Bobby Green at UFC 304 in Manchester, England on July 27. After that, he already knows what he wants: That originally targeted matchup with Renato Moicano before working his way toward the grand prize.

“Once I get through Bobby we’ll see what happens with Moicano,” Pimblett said. “Everyone wanted to see me vs. Moicano, so once I beat Bobby let’s see where Moicano’s up to.

“I think, obviously, everyone says that they want to fight Conor McGregor [as their dream fight] just because of the money involved. For me personally, it’s Islam Makhachev. Whoever’s got the belt you want to fight whoever’s got the belt. You want to prove that you’re the best in the world.”

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The MMA Hour.

Light heavyweight history.

Full fight.


The DD classics never die.

Go to Twitter, use the #MorningReport hashtag, or find one of my tweets with it, and drop me a jam you’re currently really into. I’ll pick the best one alongside my daily choice and give you a shoutout! You can also share in the comments below — those are just harder to sift through sometimes!

Don’t diss Dustin.






He keeps going.



Louis is the man.

Strickland things.



Josiane Nunes (10-2) vs. Jacqueline Cavalcanti (6-1); UFC Vegas 96, Aug. 24

Bad look, Paddy. Gotta leave that one alone at this stage.

Thanks for reading!


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