Ilia Topuria Targets Max Holloway for Next Featherweight Title Defense

UFC
April 16, 2024
Ilia Topuria wants to defend his featherweight title against Max Holloway after the Hawaiian’s phenomenal performance at UFC 300 on Saturday.

Holloway moved to lightweight to challenge Justin Gaethje for the BMF title at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. A sizeable underdog going into the matchup, Holloway delivered one of his career best performances, piecing “The Highlight” apart before knocking him out cold in a buzzer beater. “Blessed” also walked away with both the “Fight of the Night” and “Performance of the Night” honors, which were raised to $300,000 each for the special card.

Holloway’s performance was enough to catch the attention of the featherweight champion. While he had called out Islam Makhachev, Conor McGregor and even Khabib Nurmagomedov after his title win over Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 298 in February, “El Matador” finally claims to be sure of who he wants to fight next.

"Its clear for me, my next fight is against Max Holloway,” Topuria told ESPN Deportes. “Congratulations and enjoy tonight, but after fighting me he will have to go back in the line.”

Holloway also expressed interest in challenging Topuria for the featherweight title after coming up short in his last three title fights against Alexander Volkanovski. “Blessed” referenced Topuria’s callout during Saturday’s post-fight press conference.

“That’s cool,” Holloway said. “What do you want me to say? What if he goes to the back of the line? So at the end of the day, we find out. Like I said, we’ve got questions, we’ve got questions. We’re in the fighting game. Ilia can talk, but I’ve got a lot of questions. I like listening and if that ever gets booked, you guys are going to see a lot of answers. So I’m excited for it.”

Reference: https://www.sherdog.com/news/news/Ilia-Topuria-Targets-Max-Holloway-for-Next-Featherweight-Title-Defense-193339

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