Ilia Topuria: “I need new challengers!”

New UFC featherweight champion Elijah Topuria, who knocked out former titleholder Alexander Volkanovski in the second round at UFC 298 in Anaheim, summarized the results of the match and shared his opinion on a potential rematch with the Australian.

“I don’t need referees,” the Spanish-Georgian fighter said at the post-event press conference. “When I fight, they can go and rest a little bit. Alex was really fast. His jab, his movement, his leg kicks – he surprised me a little bit. It took me a little longer to learn him and knock him out in the second round, although I expected to do it in the first. The plan for the fight initially was to hit multi-strike combinations, not to throw one or two punches. A series of three, four, five punches is much harder to read. We did a great job. I became world champion and I’m very happy.”

Topuria said he is not interested in potential fights with Max Holloway or the winner of the fight between Yair Rodriguez and Brian Ortega, which takes place in a week’s time, however, the new UFC champion has not ruled out facing Volkanovski again.

“It’s time to move on and clean up the division. The new generation has to have new challengers, new faces – that’s what I’m striving for. Holloway, Ortega, Rodriguez – fights with them don’t make any sense to me. I need new challengers. There are a few fights ahead and we’ll see where it ends up. At this point, a rematch with Alex makes a little more sense than any other fight in the division, but I have to discuss that with my team. Either way, my job is to fight and I’m ready to face anyone they put up against me”