Dana White Reacts to Ilia Topuria’s Trash Talk Ahead of UFC 298: “He’s Got a Lot to Prove Still”

Topuria may be confident, but Dana White knows there is a lot of questions unanswered.

Dana White Ilia Topuria
(via Zuffa LLC)

UFC CEO Dana White has weighed in on the rise that Ilia Topuria has been, and admits there is still a lot for the rising featherweight to prove.

Topuria is set to challenge Alex Volkanovski for the UFC Featherweight Championship this Saturday night. The 145-pound title clash will be headlining UFC 298 inside the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. “El Matador” has revved up the trash talk in the buildup to UFC 298, even marketing himself as the UFC featherweight champion already.

There is a lot of pressure Topuria has put on himself, and Dana White knows that while there is big potential with the undefeated challenger, the jury is still out on just how far he can go.

Ilia Topuria Has A Lot To Prove, Says UFC CEO Dana White

During an interview with Kevin Iole, Dana White mentioned that this will be Ilia Topuria’s first crack at truly making a name for himself in the UFC.

“When you look at the names, when you start talking about who he’s beat, what was at stake when he beat him, all those kind of things, that’s what Topuria doesn’t have yet,” White said. “So, you can have all the stats you want, he doesn’t have that big fight experience. This is gonna be his first one. This is his first major name and first big fight. So, as much of a stud as the guy is he’s got a lot to prove still.”

Iole mentioned Topuria saying that he might as well fight Conor McGregor next because he doesn’t think Max Holloway, Brian Ortega, or Yair Rodriguez would be worthy of fighting him after UFC 298. The comments got a chuckle out of Dana, who understands why “El Matador” is showing confidence.

“I don’t know about that,” White said laughing. “Listen, when you’re undefeated, you’ve never tasted defeat and you’ve been on the rise that this guy is on, that’s the way you should be thinking and that’s what your mentality should be. But, we’ll see how it plays out on Saturday night.”

We’ll see if Ilia Topuria lives up to the hype this weekend. Keep it locked on MiddleEasy for coverage of UFC 298 on Saturday night.

Here is the full Dana White interview conducted by Kevin Iole:

Published on February 14, 2024 at 11:18 am
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