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UFC 4 – Conor McGregor

Three days before they step into the Octagon at the O2 Arena, UFC London’s protagonists faced questions from the media in the English capital on Wednesday.

Mixed martial arts’ flagship promotion returns to London just four months after its last visit, which made for a mesmering and historic night of action at the O2. Tom Aspinall emerged victorious from the main event that evening, submitting Alexander Volkov in the first round, and the Wigan heavyweight will headline again this Saturday as he takes on Curtis Blaydes. Meanwhile, Paddy Pimblett achieved a first-round submission victory over Rodrigo Vargas at the March edition of UFC London, captivating the crowd and crowning himself as the star of the show. The loudmouth Liverpudlian will feature at the O2 Arena again this weekend, facing Jordan Leavitt on the main card.

Molly McCann and Paul Craig are among the other British, fan favourite fighters to have fought in March, and both are due to step in the ring on Saturday. Former light heavyweight title challenger Alexander Gustafsson adds some extra prestige to proceedings, meanwhile, and all of the above combatants spoke at today’s media day. Re-live updates from the UFC London media day, below.

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UFC London media day

That’s all from today’s media day. We’ll be back with a live blog of the weigh-ins on Friday!

Until then.

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UFC London media day

Here’s a summary of what Paddy Pimblett had to say today:

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UFC London media day

Curtis Blaydes (centre-left) and Tom Aspinall face off

(The Independent)

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UFC London media day

Jack Hermansson (centre-left) and middleweight opponent Chris Curtis

(The Independent)

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UFC London media day

Paddy Pimblett (centre-left) faces off with Jordan Leavitt in London

(The Independent)

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UFC London media day

Now it’s time for the face-offs.

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UFC London media day

Pimblett: “I love putting trolls in their places, lad. Instagram used to be bad, but it’s not bad at all now [for me]. But on Twitter, it does my head in.”

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UFC London media day

Pimblett’s young friend Lee Hodgson, a four-year-old with terminal cancer, recently passed away.

Pimblett gives an emotional response when asked about Hodgson:

“That’s why I know Jordan Leavitt isn’t gonna hurt me. I know baby Lee is gonna be in there with me, lad.”

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UFC London media day

Pimblett: “I’m proving myself like I always do, and proving doubters wrong. It makes my day, it gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling inside.”

On his pay improving: “Oh, it’s good. It’s good. Don’t you’se worry about that.”

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UFC London media day

Pimblett on the cost of living crisis: “It’s absolutely disgraceful, then you’ve got this [politician Rishi] Sunak saying he wants to sort the country out. Just do a general election and let’s see the [Conservatives] get voted out.

“Sunak is a multi-millionaire, his bird’s a billionaire. It’s absolutely despicable that more and more people are eating from food banks.”