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Ilia Topuria's Bold Stand: No Title Shots for Max Holloway, Yair Rodriguez, or Brian Ortega, Even If Crowned UFC Featherweight Champion

Ilia Topuria during media talk
UFC Featherweight title challenger Ilia Topuria

In a bold declaration, rising UFC star Ilia Topuria has laid out his stance for the future, asserting that even if he becomes the featherweight champion, he won't grant title shots to some of the division's highest-ranked contenders. Topuria is set to challenge the five-time defending champion, Alexander Volkanovski, in the UFC 298 headliner on Feb. 17 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.

Confident in his ability to defeat Volkanovski, Topuria dismisses the notion of an immediate rematch, predicting a victory so convincing that a second bout won't be necessary. When confronted with the idea of facing former champion Max Holloway in his first title defense, Topuria swiftly shut down the suggestion, expressing his desire to go after Conor McGregor, who is anticipated to return against Michael Chandler.

Topuria explained, 

"I’m going to beat a guy that whooped his ass three times, how? It doesn’t make any sense. Max, Yair (Rodriguez), Brian Ortega, all of them, they can go and retire. I’m never going to give them the chance to fight for the title – never."

Despite uncertainties about his future opponents, Topuria remains entirely focused on his upcoming fight against Volkanovski. He believes the UFC understands the direction he wants to take with his career, emphasizing that names like Max Holloway, Yair Rodriguez, and Brian Ortega won't be in the title shot conversation if he emerges victorious.

As Topuria prepares for his championship bout, fight fans are eager to witness the outcome and see how this bold proclamation will shape the future landscape of the UFC featherweight division.


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