Paddy Pimblett has renewed his burgeoning beef with Ilia Topuria after using a racial slur to refer to his fellow fighter.
During Thursday’s UFC 282 pre-fight press conference, which took place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, the two UFC fighters exchanged words after a reporter asked Topuria to speak about the difficulty of being around Pimblett during fight week.
“I don’t understand you or anything,” Topuria said during that exchange, to which Pimblett replied: “You’re known as ‘hand sanitizer boy,’ you little mongrel.”
Pimblett’s comment was in reference to a run-in between the two fighters at UFC London last March, which saw Pimblett throw a bottle of hand sanitizer at Topuria.
The conversation between the two then devolved to Pimblett demanding that Topuria “speak English.”
“Are you talking English? English? Speak English for the people, lad, not German or Spanish like you’re from, you mongrel,” Pimblett said during the UFC 282 press conference. “You pretend to be Georgian, but you’re not. You were born in Germany and you live in Spain. You were born in Germany and you live in Spain. You’re a little mongrel. That’s what you are. You’re a little mongrel.”
The term ‘mongrel,’ which was originally used to describe a dog of mixed or indeterminable breed, is also a racial slur applied to people who are considered to be or who identify as mixed-race. As William Saletan wrote in Slate in 2014, “Many people use /mongrel/ as an insult because they think it’s better to be purebred than to have mixed ancestry.”
It is also worth noting that this is not the first time Pimblett has used this type of language.
In 2018, Pimblett told now UFC fighter Muhammad Mokaev, a Russian immigrant who represented England in freestyle wrestling competitions, that he was a “fraud” and not “from here.”
The following year, Pimblett blamed the United Kingdom’s economic problems on immigrants who “don’t even speak English.”
“This country is a f—kin mess because of the government lad it’s simple as that, lots of immigrants have landed in this country an took over full areas some places don’t even speak English&ur telling me thats good for this country?” Pimblett said on Twitter. “She just shunt moan mate got a roof over her head.”
In 2021, Pimblett called Georgians “stupid” and claimed that was the reason that “Russians terrorize their lives,” a reference to the 2008 Russo-Georgian War. His comments drew a response from then UFC fighter Liana Jojua, who revealed that her grandparents were killed during the war.
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
The 25-year-old Topuria was born in Germany to Georgian parents. His family moved to Georgia, where he lived from the age of seven to 15 and then moved to Spain.