«The second quarter of 2025»

Ilia Topuria is in the prime of his life. After winning the UFC title, his popularity has skyrocketed to unimaginable heights and is now expected to continue this exponential rise when his film is released on the 19th. September. After presenting ‘Topuria: Matador’, Ilia spoke to ABC with a smile and the certainty that the best is yet to come. Because it is not enough for him to be a champion, he wants to be a legend. And that means, to start with, defending his title this year. He says that October could be the date of his fight against Max Holloway and he has a preference for UFC 308, in Abu Dhabi, as it would be European ‘prime time’. In addition, he reveals the date of the UFC’s arrival in Spain: second quarter of 2025.

– A very special moment in your career, Ilia. On September 19th, the film of your life will be released: ‘Topuria: Matador’. This documentary will revive what you once visualized. How do you feel?

– Exactly, it is reliving all those moments that one goes through to be able to fulfill one’s dream. They are very exciting moments, of great sacrifice and they are evident. I want it to be an example for all the new generations, that if you want something, it will cost you something, and to be a source of inspiration.

– I’m sure it will be. But to keep inspiring you have to talk about what’s coming next. Your next fight was planned for UFC 306, at The Sphere in Las Vegas, against Max Holloway, but it seems that won’t be the case. We have UFC 307 in Salt Lake City and UFC 308 in Abu Dhabi ahead of us. Which one are you aiming for?

– I think Abu Dhabi would be the perfect venue for me if that is the case. The first reason is that it will be in prime time for Spain, where all the Spaniards and Georgians will be able to enjoy the fight, Europe is where I really have my biggest fan base. We will see what the future has in store for me, but if they call me and tell me that I have to fight in La Esfera, I will also be prepared.

– It seems that Max Holloway will be his rival, but he has been considering other fights, such as Michael Chandler.

– Of course, imagine if you were in his place, and in front of you you have an Ilia who is going to turn off the lights and he is going to be the first to do it… And on the other hand you say I prefer to defend my BMF belt (an iconic title that Holloway won) at lightweight (155 pounds, a higher division) because it runs much less risk, and if things go well for him on the other side, then he would want the fight against me. It is normal that he tries to avoid me because they know that this is my moment. Regardless of this, he has a great career and deserves all the respect for the things he has achieved (he was featherweight champion). He seems like a family guy who fights to feed his loved ones.

– Ilia, you were demanding that the BMF belt be at stake in addition to your UFC belt, but in the end it won’t be like that. How did this happen?

– I don’t think Max has anything to do with this, it’s a decision made by the UFC. It’s a company policy and when they explained things to me I understood it. For me it’s not the best, obviously I would have liked to have both of them in play, but the most important thing is to go into the fight and win.

– What is your prediction for the fight?

– My intention is to turn off the lights, that’s what excites me the most, what motivates me the most, and it will be fun. They may start at the top but they will end up on the canvas.

– You made a post in which you said that there was already a date for the UFC’s landing in Spain. When will it be?

– In the second quarter of 2025.

– One of the things you have done recently is to move from Alicante to Madrid. What is the reason for this?

– The time lost in travel and the energy lost, the level of demand is very high with the training but also with the means and the commitments, the team needed my presence in Madrid.

– We have already seen you training with world boxing champion Maravilla Martinez and Brazilian jiujitsu champion Mathias Ribeiro. Are you going to learn from these trainers as well?

– Without a doubt. If I am in Madrid and I want to be improving and polishing my boxing level, who better than Maravilla and the same with Mathias in that discipline,

 
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