Daniel Cormier Advises Ilia Topuria on First Title Defense Booking Missteps

Former two-division UFC champion Daniel Cormier has advised new UFC featherweight champion Ilia Topuria to be more assertive in calling out his preferred opponents, specifically suggesting a fight with “BMF” champ Max Holloway.

Daniel Cormier, a two-division UFC champion, has some wisdom to share. He’s been there, done that, and knows a thing or two about leverage. Now, he wants to pass on some of his insights to Ilia Topuria, one of UFC’s newest champs.

Topuria snagged the UFC featherweight title at UFC 298 in February. He knocked out Alexander Volkanovski in the second round, and boy, was it a sight to see! However, his first title defense hasn’t been announced yet. Since his big win, he’s been trying to call the shots. Who’s worthy of a shot at the title, what’s at stake, and other conditions – he wants to dictate it all.

Cormier has some advice for Topuria. It’s about a potential fight with “BMF” champ Max Holloway, or a rematch with Volkanovski. Cormier thinks Topuria should make his intentions clear. He should say, “I want Max Holloway on this date.” Then, the ball would be in Max’s court.

Max is the guy right now. Sure, he has the ‘BMF’ title, but he’s eyeing the featherweight championship. And guess who has that? Ilia. If Ilia says he wants to fight on a specific date, Max will have to agree or disagree. Either way, they’ll move on.

But if Max says no, Ilia can then say, “I don’t want to fight him.” He could argue that Max had his chance and didn’t want to play by the rules. Ilia needs to make a statement as the champ and then let Max decide. Right now, though, it’s not looking great. Ilia is batting away contenders without a clear idea of who else is in the running.

Cormier seems to have a good read on the current featherweight title situation. It’s either Holloway or Volkanovski. Other fighters like Brian Ortega, Aljamain Sterling, and Movsar Evloev need to step up their game.

Cormier, a veteran UFC color commentator, hopes Topuria doesn’t overplay his hand. Topuria is on the path to becoming a major UFC star, and Cormier doesn’t want him to mess it up.

Topuria is the champ, and as the champ, he has some say in his fights. But Cormier isn’t sure if Topuria realizes the limits of his influence. Max Holloway is clearly the guy, according to Cormier. If not him, then it’s Alexander Volkanovski. Max told Cormier that he thought Volkanovski deserved a rematch. This came from the guy waiting for the title fight. But he recognizes that Volkanovski, a long-reigning champion who beat him three times, deserves an immediate rematch.


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