UFC, MMA Fighting & Combat Sports Lifestyle

UFC, MMA Fighting & Combat Sports Lifestyle

Ilia Topuria Sets Sights on Featherweight Legends, Eyes Title Shot Against Alexander Volkanovski

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Ilia Topuria has his sights set on featherweight legends for his next fight. After a dominant performance against Josh Emmett at UFC Jacksonville, Topuria wasted no time in declaring himself the number one contender for the 145-pound title. He specifically expressed his desire to challenge long-reigning champion Alexander Volkanovski, who is set to defend his belt against interim champion Yair Rodriguez at UFC 290 on July 8.

During the post-fight press conference, Topuria was asked if he would consider facing Max Holloway instead, in the event that Volkanovski defeats Rodriguez and moves on to a lightweight rematch with Islam Makhachev instead of defending the featherweight belt. Topuria responded, “Busy, not busy, I don’t know if Volkanovski is busy. I’m the next guy in the line, I can wait. One of the best skills I have is patience. If they offer me to fight with Max Holloway in Spain, let’s do it. If not, I’m going to wait for my title shot.”

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Holloway already has his next fight scheduled against Chan Sung Jung at UFC Singapore on August 26. If Holloway emerges victorious, it would keep him on track for a potential matchup with Topuria, pending the decisions of the matchmakers.

For Topuria, Holloway represents the kind of opponent he envisions facing in Spain, where he resides and trains. He expressed his dream of becoming a UFC world champion and bringing the UFC to Spain, emphasizing the significance it would hold for him to turn that dream into reality.

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Ultimately, Topuria’s goal is to secure a championship fight, preferably against Volkanovski. He recognizes Volkanovski’s unbeatable record at featherweight, including wins over Holloway, Jung, Ortega, Aldo, and Mendes. Volkanovski’s only loss in nearly a decade came when he moved up to the lightweight division to challenge Makhachev unsuccessfully.

Topuria firmly believes he can be the one to end Volkanovski’s reign in the 145-pound division. He asserts his unmatched skill level inside the cage and expresses confidence in his ability to finish anyone in the division. Topuria envisions knocking out Volkanovski in the early rounds or dominating him for a full five rounds if necessary.

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