If Ilia Topuria gets the job done against Alexander Volkanovski, it could trigger his Conor McGregor-like ascent to superstardom.
That is according to UFC Hall of Famer Daniel Cormier who believes that ‘El Matador’ has done an excellent job of setting himself up to cash in should he leave Anaheim’s Honda Center with featherweight gold wrapped around his waist on February 17.
“[Topuria’s confidence] reminds me of Conor about to fight Jose Aldo,” Cormier said on his YouTube channel. “He told you, and he was so sure that he was going to get it done that you knew that if it happened, he would become a star that we’ve never seen in the UFC before or in fighting. So, when it happened, he went to the moon. I feel like Ilia Topuria is setting himself up to have that type of ascent if he can deliver on all of the promises that he is making.”
Ilia Topuria Faces His Toughest Test at UFC 298
Topuria has been brimming with confidence ever since his fight with reigning 145-pound champ Alexander Volkanovski was announced. And why wouldn’t he? He’s 14-0 in his mixed martial arts career with six of those victories coming under the UFC banner.
But he’s never fought someone like ‘The Great’
Ilia Topuria’s strength of schedule isn’t exactly doing him any favors in the eyes of his skeptics. After all, he only holds two victories over fighters in the featherweight top 15 — Bryce Mitchell and Josh Emmett. To his credit, Emmett is a former interim title challenger, but Mitchell is yet to prove himself as anything more than a mouthpiece for crazy conspiracy theories.
Still, ‘El Matador’ is confident that he’ll put away Volkanovski inside the distance. So much so that he’s already added “UFC world champion” to his social media profiles and is actively working on a documentary that follows his journey from contender to would-be king.
“It seems like all [Topuria] wants to do is put pressure on himself,” Cormier said. “This dude has now said he’s releasing a movie on becoming the champion of the world, this dude has updated his [social media] bio with another win and he’s now the UFC featherweight champion.
“This dude has stated he wants to fight in the same stadium where Real Madrid plays football in Spain. This dude has said to anyone that will listen how Alexander Volkanovski can not compete with him. Most people under these circumstances want to release the pressure. Not this dude” (h/t MMA Fighting).
Are you buying into Ilia Topuria’s self-imposed hype, or do you think his overabundance of confidence is going to blow up in his face come fight night?