Ilia Topuria Predicts Sean O’Malley Superfight Could Be UFC’s Biggest if He Defends Belt

UFC featherweight champion Ilia Topuria is eyeing a potential fight with “BMF” champion Max Holloway, and has expressed his desire to bring the UFC to Spain in 2025, suggesting potential matchups with Conor McGregor or Sean O’Malley if they successfully defend their titles.

Ilia Topuria’s dance card is chock-full. But hey, there’s always space for one more, right?

Back in February, Topuria sent Alexander Volkanovski crashing to the mat. This was at UFC 298, and it won him the featherweight title. Overnight, Topuria became a global sensation. High-profile fights? He’s got a few lined up.

First on the list? Max Holloway, the newly minted “BMF” champ. Holloway claimed his title at UFC 300, flooring Justin Gaethje with a knockout punch that had the crowd roaring.

The bout with Holloway isn’t set in stone yet. But Topuria? He’s already got his eyes on the horizon. He’s been pretty vocal about his dream to bring UFC to Spain in 2025. And once he’s got the BMF belt to go with his featherweight title, he’s got a few ideas about who he’d like to face in the ring.

“If Conor [McGregor] beats Mike Chandler, we can fight for the BMF belt at 170,” Topuria mused on The MMA Hour. “If [Sean] O’Malley defends his belt — which I have many, many doubts — that’s an exciting fight, too. So I don’t know. In my mind, I see a lot of big fights. Even with Volkanovski, it’s going to be huge.”

McGregor’s up against Chandler at UFC 303‘s main event on June 29 in Las Vegas. O’Malley? He’s yet to set a date, but he’ll be defending his bantamweight title against No. 1 contender Merab Dvalishvili sometime this year.

Topuria and Dvalishvili are both Georgian fighters and friends. Topuria thinks Dvalishvili will be a tough opponent for O’Malley. But if “Suga” pulls off a win, Topuria admits he’ll deserve a shot at the featherweight title.

“He’s fighting Merab and I truly believe Merab is going to whoop his ass,” Topuria said. “If he doesn’t, I will be waiting for him. Then he really deserves the shot. If he dominates his weight class, you have to give him the chance to move up to the next weight division. But right now, it doesn’t make any sense because he has a guy who is a No. 1 contender who really deserves the shot, Merab. And I truly believe that [Merab]’s going to beat him.”

O’Malley, for his part, seems pretty keen on a fight with Topuria. After a five-round masterclass against Chito Vera at UFC 299, O’Malley called for a shot at the featherweight strap. He even offered to go to Spain for it.

But it looks like Dvalishvili’s up next. That doesn’t mean O’Malley’s dream is dead, though. Both Topuria and O’Malley were at UFC 300, and they had a brief chat. Topuria says they discussed their ultimate goal.

“I just told him, ‘Congratulations on your title defense,’” Topuria said. “He told me, ‘I’m going to defend my belt. You do your things, and we’re going to build the biggest fight in UFC history.’ This is what’s going to happen. If he defends the belt, that’s going to be the biggest fight in UFC history. And if we make it in [Madrid’s Santiago] Bernabeu [Stadium], even bigger.”


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