Ilia Topuria Unimpressed by Max Holloway’s Viral UFC 300 KO, Demands to Fight for the BMF Title

'El Matador' is willing to put his featherweight title on the line against Holloway, so long as 'Blessed' put his BMF belt up

Ilia Topuria And Max Holloway
Courtesy of @UFCNews on X

If it’s not for the BMF belt, Ilia Topuria has no interest in fighting Max Holloway.

Days removed from Holloway’s insane buzzer-beating knockout of Justin Gaethje to win the BMF title at UFC 300, reigning featherweight champion — and likely Holloway’s next opponent — Ilia Topuria appeared on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani to share his thoughts on the now-viral finish. 

“I didn’t see any technique,” Topuria said of Holloway’s 24:59 scrap with Gaethje. “I didn’t see any strategy. I didn’t see any power. I didn’t see anything. No head movement. I just saw a bar fight. The last 10 seconds were great from a fan’s perspective to watch, but before that, I wasn’t impressed at all.”

He continued, “[Holloway] is not as good as people think he is. You just have to see his face. It looks like he was in a motorcycle accident without a helmet.”

Topuria might be alone in the assessment of Holloway vs. Gaethje, but the oddsmakers appear to be on the side of ‘El Matador’ when it comes to a potential scrap between the two.

Early odds already show Topuria being listed as a moderate -175 favorite versus Holloway who sits as a +150 underdog.  Of course, those odds will swing one way or another, particularly when the fight becomes official. 

However, according to Topuria, the fight might not happen at all unless ‘Blessed’ agrees to put his new hardware on the line.

“Without the BMF belt [on the line], I don’t want him at all,” Topuria said. “If not, I’m gonna fight with Volk who deserves more than him, the rematch. Because he has that belt, I’m excited about that. That’s why I want him.

“He’s been saying, ‘Right now I have a lot of options.’ He doesn’t have any options. I’m the champion right now, I choose the date, I choose the place. He just has to be ready and wait for the call. Whenever I want him, he has to be ready.”

So if Ilia Topuria doesn’t fight Max Holloway next, who would he fight? According to ‘El Matador,’ the answer is clear, though he has no intention of rushing things. 

“Alexander Volkanovki’s been the world champ,” Topuria said, lobbying for ‘The Great’ to get an immediate rematch with him. “He’s defended it six or seven times. He’s a pound-for-pound fighter. The most technical guy I’ve fought ever. There’s a reason he’s been a world champion, but I think he needs more time to recover. He fought at the end of the year and got knocked out [by Islam Makhachev]. 

“I knocked him out and if he doesn’t get the time to recover, he’ll get knocked out three times in one year, or something like that. I just want the best for him. I want the best version of Volkanovski.”

Ilia Topuria Predicts an Early Finish of Max Holloway in Potential Title Fight

If his proposed fight with Max Holloway comes to fruition, Topuria hopes that ‘Blessed’ brings the same energy he brought to Justin Gaethje — specifically in that final 10 second of fireworks. 

“Bring that same energy from the last 10 seconds, but bring it in the first 10 seconds,” Topuria said. “Let’s bang and we’ll see what’s going to happen. I know I’ll take his lights out in the first round. I know that I’m way better than him everywhere. I can do with him whatever I want to do. I can just ask him. How do you want me to finish you? Do you want me to knock you out? Do you want me to submit you? What do you want me to do?”

Thus far, Topuria is perfect in his mixed martial arts career, amassing an impressive 15-0 record with seven of those victories coming under the UFC banner. His incredible second-round KO of Volkanovski also moved him to No. 5 on the promotion’s pound-for-pound list. 

“Fighting with me is going to be completely different because I don’t step back,” Topuria added. “I walk forward. I can wrestle. I can take you to the ground and punch you. I go into the cage with a strategy. I don’t just go in there and throw punches.”

Watch Ilia Topuria’s full appearance on The MMA Hour below:

Published on April 17, 2024 at 4:36 pm
Stay up-to-date with the latest MMA news, rumors, and updates by following the RED Monster on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. Also, don't forget to add MiddleEasy to your Google News feed Follow us on Google News for even more coverage.


Leave a Comment