Ilia Topuria wants UFC title shot if he beats Josh Emmett in Jacksonville: “I’m the next guy”

By Fernando Quiles - June 21, 2023

Ilia Topuria believes he’ll be closer than ever to a UFC championship bout after this weekend.

Ilia Topuria

In the main event of UFC Jacksonville, Josh Emmett and Ilia Topuria will collide in a pivotal featherweight clash. Going into the bout, Topuria is the number nine-ranked UFC 145-pounder. Emmett’s number five spot is in jeopardy, and he hopes to halt Ilia Topuria’s rise to the top.


If Ilia Topuria emerges victorious over Josh Emmett, he expects a title shot. He made his intentions clear during the UFC Jacksonville pre-fight press conference (h/t MMAJunkie).

“I’m the next guy in the line,” Topuria said. “Who deserves more than me to fight for the title? No one else. So I’m the next guy.”

The surging featherweight went on to make a prediction for his bout with Josh Emmett, and he doesn’t expect it to last.

“I’m going to finish him in the first round,” Topuria said. “Of course it’s going to be a little bit bigger to beat someone who is pound-for-pound No. 1. It’s going to be bigger than if Yair beats him, and I beat Yair. Because Yair lost a lot of fights with a lot of ranked guys – with Max Holloway, with Frankie Edgar. He lost a lot of fights. I prefer the fight against Alex and to take the win against him.”

Ilia Topuria insisted that he isn’t overlooking Emmett. He said the hard work he’s put in over the years has given him the confidence to call for a title opportunity.

Topuria is off to a red hot start in his pro MMA career. He has a perfect pro record of 13-0. Ilia Topuria is fresh off a big second-round submission win over the previously unbeaten Bryce Mitchell.

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


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