Erosa earned a third-round submission win over Charles Jourdain in an entertaining matchup this past Saturday at UFC Vegas 36. Pimblett, who was making his octagon debut, also earned a finish on the card with an opening round TKO win over Luigi Vendrimini, although he faced a bit of adversity early on.
“Juicy J” and Pimblett met once before under the Cage Warriors banner in a featherweight title fight in November 2016. Pimblett earned a unanimous decision in his first title defense, although many believed Erosa was the victim of some home cooking in regards to the judging.
Since UFC Vegas 36, including on MMA Fighting’s On To the Next One, many fans and media members have called for the rematch between Erosa and Pimblett, which the Xtreme Couture 145er has seen himself.
“Yeah, people have been posting about that,” Erosa told MMA Fighting. “I could see myself fighting him again. but I’m at featherweight and I can make the weight fine. He said he didn’t really cut much weight to get to 155. He looked pretty sucked up, and I remember on an interview he said he was gonna run through the 155 and 145 divisions, and I’m like, ‘If he decides to go to 145 I’ll be waiting for him.’ If they offer me the fight fight at 155 I’ll fight him, but featherweight is where I’m at.”
Erosa, a contestant on season 22 of The Ultimate Fighter, along with an appearance on Dana White’s Contender Series, had an 0-3 first run with the UFC over a six month stretch. After getting a submission win on the regional scene, the 32-year-old returned to the promotion where he is 3-1—with three finishes—since June 2020, which also includes victories over Sean Woodson and Nate Landwehr.
While Erosa would love the opportunity to get the bad taste out of his mouth against Pimblett, he doesn’t blame the European standout, but the promotion itself.
“There’s no animosity towards him specifically,” Erosa said. “He’s kind of a boisterous, loud, and a little obnoxious, but that’s just his style. He’s confident in who he is and I have nothing but respect for him.
“The whole situation with the Cage Warriors thing, it wasn’t him. It was the promoter and the matchmaker over there is also his manager, and I didn’t know that until after the fight and, obviously, that’s a bit biased that the guy that’s setting everything up is also managing the f*cking star player that I’m gonna fight. So if I don’t finish the guy, it didn’t matter if I beat the dog sh*t out of the guy, they were gonna give him the fight if it went to a decision. That’s not on him, that’s on the guys behind him.
“Me and him had a lot of respect [for each other] on fight week. I saw him a handful of times, we said what’s up to each other and we had a couple of small conversations. I’m happy for him. He’s doing his thing, but I definitely think he needs to clean up a few things because at the 155 [pound] division, there’s a lot of killers and I don’t think he’s gonna do as well as he thinks he’s gonna do if he keeps fighting like that against guys a little higher up. He was a little sloppy—almost got knocked out himself—came back and persevered, but there’s a lot of guys out there who aren’t gonna be as sloppy, that are gonna be a little more technical with him. But if he ever decides to move down to 145, I’m here for him.”
Pimblett, along with Tom Aspinall, were awarded performance bonuses for this past Saturday’s card, while the flyweight matchup between Molly McCann and Ji Yeon Kim earned the event’s Fight of the Night.
Erosa, who signed a new four-fight contract with the UFC prior to the 15-pound catchweight bout with Jourdain, believes he deserved a piece of the post-fight bonus pie for his efforts.
“I think it’s a little biased in my mind,” Erosa explained. “It was a card that was supposed to be in London, they’re bringing Paddy here, they’re trying to hype him up and I think it was little biased towards the Europeans. It was a little disappointing in that sense because $50,000 is a lot. Both of my purses together was like $50,000. It would’ve doubled my money so it would’ve been a big deal for a guy like me to get a bonus. I just work my ass off and I had a great fight.
“Paddy went out there and almost got knocked out, then ended up knocking his dude out in a couple of minutes. I had a 12-13 minute fight, “Meatball” Molly had a great fight as well, but there was no finish there and it was a little sloppy in my mind. I think me and Charles had a great, technical fight, and I finished him. It is what it is.
“I never try to expect the bonuses because you’ll only be disappointed.”