Morning Report: Ilia Topuria targets Max Holloway in September before ‘biggest fight in MMA history’ vs. Conor McGregor


Ilia Topuria is ready to defend his UFC featherweight title.

From the moment Max Holloway flatlined Justin Gaethje and became the new BMF champion at UFC 300, the world was anticipating what would be next for “Blessed.” The proud fighting Hawaiian quickly made it clear he had an interest in recapturing his previously held 145-pound title despite the move up in weight. That same night, Topuria agreed that was the fight.

The pair have had some interesting verbal exchanges since the immediate fallout of UFC 300 last month. However, “El Matador” is remaining insistent on facing Holloway next even though he’s threatened to move on without him if necessary. Ideally, Topuria targets a September return, and if not against Holloway, something by the end of the year so that he can fight in Spain to start 2025.

After a predicted big win in title defense No. 1, Topuria wants a “Notorious” type of matchup.

“I hope to defend the belt with Max Holloway, and then I wanna fight with Conor McGregor, hopefully,” Topuria told Sportskeeda. “If he wins his upcoming fight, that’s the fight I’m looking for. Hopefully, it’s gonna happen. It’s gonna be the biggest fight in MMA history. The biggest ticket [seller], biggest pay-per-view, biggest everything. We’re gonna have like 80,000 people watching the fight in the arena.

“There is always the first time [for a knockout]. This is going to be the first time that someone is going to knock him (Holloway) out, and I’m the one who’s gonna do that. I see the first time we’re gonna start to exchange the hands, I’m gonna take his lights out, for sure. I know that. I just need one clear punch and I have the power to put him to sleep.”

McGregor coincidentally took some scathing and somewhat surprising shots at the featherweight champion earlier this week. Labeling Topuria an Artem Lobov-esque “little r*tard,” McGregor stated how he looks at Topuria as a “non-champion” who will get “picked apart” by Holloway in a potential fight.

If a fight between McGregor and Topuria were ever to happen, it would likely have to be at lightweight as McGregor’s upcoming return takes place at welterweight against Michael Chandler next month. Of course, that requires both of them to win their next fights which will be easier said than done.

Ultimately, Topuria wants to make history and do so in the biggest fights imaginable. He hasn’t talked as much about becoming a double champion as others, except for the BMF crown. Down the line, the champion admits an Islam Makhachev lightweight title fight could be interesting.

“Maybe [I could fight Makhachev] in the future,” Topuria said. “Right now I just see the Max Holloway fight, the Conor fight. Maybe if [Makhachev] keeps defending the belt and he keeps becoming bigger and bigger and bigger, maybe one day we can see that fight too. But for the moment, for right now, he’s not on my list.”


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