“I’m the Next Champion in This Weight Division”-Ilia Topuria Announces Arrival at Featherweight

Published 12/06/2020, 12:43 AM EST


Undefeated featherweight Ilia Topuria got his first finish in the UFC. Topuria ended his opponent, Damon Jackson in the first round via knockout. This was his second fight in the organization. The former BRAVE CF fighter moved to 10-0 with this win. So far he seems to have kept the promises he arrived with, in the UFC.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Following his win, Topuria revealed why he kept the fight on the feet despite having seven submission wins ahead of this fight. In the post-fight interview, he said, “The game plan was to keep the fight standing, knowing that my opponent was good on the ground. I knew I was better, but I always respect my opponent’s game, so I kept the fight standing up and got the knockout.

Ilia Topuria has finished all his fights except one

The fighter shed light on his UFC debut against Youssef Zalal. This was the only fight that he hasn’t finished. He said, “The result I was searching in my first fight was the finish, but it is what it is. You can see the difference between eight-days’ notice and eight weeks of notice. This time I had eight weeks to prepare to fight well and the result is here.” 

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

A pumped-up Topuria added that he would become the next champion in this weight class. He said, “My style is searching every time to finish and I think that’s what the fans are looking for. I’m not a boring fighter just going to decisions and waiting for my opponents. I’m searching for the finish every time and that’s why I think people follow me and like me (…) I’m the next champion in this weight division and I think a lot of people know that.”

At only 23, Topuria looks like a problem for the rest of the featherweight division in near future. His best skill lies in his ground game, but he is no novice with his stand-up game. He proved that point beyond doubt in his win over Damon Jackson.

How far Topuria can go in a stacked featherweight division remains to be seen. But, he has certainly shown early promise. How do you rate Ilia Topuria? Can he become a champion in the future? Let us know below.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

SLAM KO! Jordan Leavitt Knocks Out Matt Wiman With an Insane Slam

6 months ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Apratim Banerjee

838 articles

Apratim Banerjee is an MMA author for EssentiallySports and has been writing professionally for almost a year. Before his current gig, Apratim worked as a UFC writer for Sportskeeda. A long-time MMA fan, Apratim has developed a critical eye for the sport that has helped him transfer his vast knowledge to his copies and give hardcore and casual readers a detailed insight into the fights and fighters.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT