In the marquee fight at UFC Jacksonville last Saturday, Topuria delivered a commanding performance against Josh Emmett, maintaining his unblemished record and further asserting himself as one of the most formidable contenders in the 145-pound division.
Topuria has set his sights on a championship bout, but also shows willingness to square off with Max Holloway should the UFC organize such a fight in his adopted home, Spain. When confronted with the potential of traveling to Australia to take on Volkanovski on the latter’s home ground, the featherweight contender welcomed the idea.
“Absolutely no issue,” Topuria stated. “If I believe I’m the best in the world, I can overcome him in Australia, Las Vegas, Miami, Spain, wherever we are, I triumph. Location is irrelevant.”
It remains uncertain if Volkanovski will still be the reigning champ by the time Topuria is ready for another bout. The current title-holder is scheduled to defend his belt against interim champion Yair Rodriguez at UFC 290 on July 8. If Volkanovski extends his remarkable streak, he might return to the 155-pound category for a rematch with lightweight champion Islam Makhachev, who edged him out at UFC 284.
Such considerations partly inform Topuria’s thoughts of a potential face-off with Holloway, but his primary objective remains capturing the UFC title.
“My current focus is securing the championship belt,” he shared. “I am keen on a title fight, which I am certain I have earned. But if there is an opportunity to fight Max Holloway in Spain, I will not hesitate. I do not, however, desire to battle an unknown opponent in Spain, as my sights are set on the belt. If the UFC intends to host a fight in Spain with Max Holloway, I will undoubtedly say, ‘Absolutely, let’s get to it.’ I look forward to fighting before my home crowd.”
While a triumph over Holloway would solidify Topuria’s claim to the top contender position at 145 pounds, he is unconvinced that he needs to overcome any other opponent to earn a championship chance. He believes that he is the best candidate to challenge Volkanovski’s dominance in the division.
“This is the most feasible scenario for me,” Topuria explained. “I have already demonstrated — even prior to my bout with Bryce Mitchell — that my skill level inside the octagon is unmatched in this division. There’s nothing else for me in this division but to fight for the title.”
As to who he believes will prevail at UFC 290, Topuria predicts Volkanovski will maintain the belt. However, he refrained from declaring support for Volkanovski, acknowledging that a loss for the latter could lead to an immediate rematch against Rodriguez.
Topuria has waited this long for his opportunity and is prepared to exercise further patience.
“As I have stated, patience is one of my greatest virtues,” he declared. “I am still young at 26, I have time, and I enjoy my life. I am content and willing to wait. I am in no hurry.”
“It doesn’t concern me,” he added. “My goal is to become the world champion. If I have to wait, I’ll wait for as long as it takes. If that means waiting for another six months or so, then so be it.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Ilia Topuria
Q: Is Ilia Topuria willing to fight Alexander Volkanovski in Australia?
A: Yes, Ilia Topuria is willing to face Alexander Volkanovski in Australia or any other location, confident in his ability to defeat him.
Q: Who is Ilia Topuria considering as an alternative opponent?
A: Ilia Topuria is considering a fight with Max Holloway if the UFC arranges a matchup in Spain, his adopted home.
Q: What is Ilia Topuria’s main goal?
Q: Will Alexander Volkanovski still be the champion when Topuria is ready to fight?
A: There is no guarantee, as Volkanovski is scheduled to defend his belt against interim champion Yair Rodriguez. If he retains the title, he might pursue a rematch with lightweight champion Islam Makhachev.
Q: Does Ilia Topuria feel the need to defeat other opponents before getting a title shot?
A: Topuria believes that he is the best option to dethrone Volkanovski and sees no need to defeat any other opponents to earn a championship opportunity.
Q: Is Ilia Topuria willing to wait for his chance at the title?
A: Yes, Ilia Topuria is patient and willing to wait as long as it takes to secure a title shot, even if it means waiting for months or longer.