Ilia Topuria On Possible Champion Vs. Champion Bout With Sean O’Malley

Following his second round knockout victory over Alexander Volkanovski in February, claiming the UFC featherweight title, Ilia Topuria has some serious plans for the future.

Firstly, it seems proposals could be in play for a match with the newly crowned 145-pound king and Max Holloway, who achieved the BMF belt with a knocked out of Justin Gaethje at UFC 300. While things are not official in any way just yet, many feel that this appears to be the fight to make, but “El Matador” has plans that extend much further than Holloway.

In a recent interview on ‘The MMA Hour’, Topuria opened up on his plans, most notably expressing interest in matchups with Sean O’Malley and Conor McGregor.

“If Conor [McGregor] beats Mike Chandler, we can fight for the BMF belt at 170,” Topuria said on The MMA Hour. “If [Sean] O’Malley defends his belt — which I have many, many doubts — that’s an exciting fight, too. So I don’t know. In my mind, I see a lot of big fights. Even with Volkanovski, it’s going to be huge.”


Given O’Malley’s callout of Topuria after one of his most career defining moments, his successful title defense over Marlon Vera at UFC 299, there is no surprise that the featherweight titleholder’s interest is focused around “Sugar”. During his post fight interview last month, O’Malley even exclaimed that he would be willing to move up to 145-pounds for the bout, and have the fight in Spain, a location that Topuria has been advocating for.

“He’s fighting Merab and I truly believe Merab is going to whoop his ass,” Topuria said. “If he doesn’t, I will be waiting for him. Then he really deserves the shot. If he dominates his weight class, you have to give him the chance to move up to the next weight division. But right now, it doesn’t make any sense because he has a guy who is a No. 1 contender who really deserves the shot, Merab. And I truly believe that [Merab]’s going to beat him.”


Both Topuria and O’Malley were in attendance for UFC 300 earlier this month, and an apparent conversation ensued in which the pair outlined some loose plans for the coming years.

“I just told him, ‘Congratulations on your title defense,’” Topuria said. “He told me, ‘I’m going to defend my belt. You do your things, and we’re going to build the biggest fight in UFC history.’ This is what’s going to happen. If he defends the belt, that’s going to be the biggest fight in UFC history. And if we make it in [Madrid’s Santiago] Bernabeu [Stadium], even bigger.”


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