‘He needs to finish someone’


ANAHEIM, Calif. – Ilia Topuria is not sold on Movsar Evloev being his first title defense.

Topuria (15-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC) knocked out Alexander Volkanovski (26-4 MMA, 13-3 UFC) to claim the featherweight title in Saturday’s UFC 298 main event at Honda Center. Evloev, who’s coming off a win over Arnold Allen, called out Topuria after the fight.

My congratulations to the new champion. I’m coming for you and taking that belt from you #UFC298.”

While he didn’t entirely dismiss Evloev (18-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC) as a challenger, Topuria just hasn’t been impressed with his resume. Like Topuria, Evloev is undefeated, but his 8-0 run in the octagon has all come by decision.

“Movsar’s a good fight for me. I would love to fight him,” Topuria told MMA Junkie and other reporters post-fight at UFC 298. “But the guy has eight fights in the UFC: eight decisions, zero submissions, zero knockouts. … Man, come on. He needs to finish someone.

“Maybe they can find someone from his home town. Maybe he can fight with his dad or something and finish him. But he needs to finish someone because the record he has right now – yeah, it seems nice: He’s undefeated. But the guy didn’t finish anyone, So he needs to do something.”

Prior to fighting Volkanovski, Topuria dismissed Max Holloway, Yair Rodriguez, and Brian Ortega as potential title challengers. He echoed that sentiment post fight.

“All of them, they don’t make any sense for me right now,” Topuria said. “I need new challengers – new ones. There are some upcoming fights, and we’ll see how they’re going to play out. You’re going to see ‘El Matador’ for a while.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 298.

Be sure to visit the MMA Junkie Instagram page and YouTube channel to discuss this and more content with fans of mixed martial arts.

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