Max Holloway believes Dana White and the UFC protected Ilia Topuria on his route to the title

By Susan Cox - April 10, 2024

Max Holloway believes that Dana White and the UFC protected Ilia Topuria on his route to the featherweight title.

Max Holloway, UFC 300

The undefeated Ilia Topuria (15-0 MMA) is the current UFC featherweight champion.

It was Topuria vs. Alexander Volkanovski (26-4 MMA) this past February at UFC 298 that saw ‘El Matador’ KO ‘The Great’ at 3:32 of round 2 to win the featherweight belt.

According to Max Holloway, Topuria was given special treatment by the UFC, and never had to get in the cage with ‘Blessed’ on his way to the top.

Holloway spoke with Brett Okamoto on ‘ESPN MMA’ during UFC 300 fight week and shared why he believes the UFC kept Topuria from fighting him en route to the title:

“He likes to talk a lot and I like to listen. When it’s time, it’s time. He’s going to have to see me sooner or later. Like I said, there was a reason why UFC didn’t want him to fight me. They made all these other contenders coming up fight me, Yair, Arnold Allen, who’s who, whoever, you keep naming them. Why didn’t Ilia come up? And then he gets a title shot after Josh Emmett, after the guy who just lost to the champion. MMA maths is confusing as hell sometimes, but it just made no sense to me.”

Ilia Topuria, Max Holloway, UFC

Photo via @ShakFu on Twitter

Concluding, Holloway shared that he believes he will get a shot at Topuria in the future but for now it is Volkanovski who should be granted a rematch in Topuria’s first title defense (h/t MMANews):

“I always thought that no matter what happened, they’re going to give Volk the rematch. Volk’s body of work that he did for the featherweight division, I don’t know how you don’t give the rematch. ‘Oh yeah he got knocked out twice in a row’ and I’m like yeah higher weight class brother, it’s okay.”

As for Holloway (25-7 MMA), he’s ready for his BMF title bout with Justin Gaethje (25-4 MMA) this coming weekend at UFC 300.

Holloway has won two in a row coming into Saturday’s bout, defeating Arnold Allen (19-3 MMA) in April of 2023 and Chan Sung Jung (17-8 MMA) in August of last year.

Gaethje has also been victorious in his last two match-ups defeating Rafael Fiziev (12-3 MMA) and Dustin Poirier (30-8 MMA) in March and July of last year.

Do you agree with Holloway that the UFC protected Topuria? Do you think Holloway can take the BMF belt from Gaethje come Saturday night?

Share your thoughts in the comment section PENN Nation!

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Ilia Topuria Max Holloway UFC