Ilia Topuria

El Matador


Blows past Ryan Hall
July 10, 2021
Topuria defeated Ryan Hall via KO (punches) at 4:47 of Round 1 at UFC 264 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
No one in the division wants to fight Hall -- he hadn't stepped into the octagon for nearly two years prior to Saturday -- but Topuria happily accepted the bout and proceeded to finish the BJJ wizard in Round 1. With Hall doing his usual act of rolling on the mat hoping to engage his competition in a submission battle, Topuria took his time and eventually jumped Hall on the mat before firing off countless unanswered shots from a dominant position. Referee Jason Herzog gave Hall plenty of time to recover, but it wasn't happening. Topuria is now a perfect 3-0 in the UFC and arguably the top overall prospect in the featherweight division. Big things are coming from the 24-year-old.
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Draws Ryan Hall in July
March 24, 2021
Topuria will take on Ryan Hall in a featherweight matchup at UFC 264 on July 10, Giorgi Kokiashvili of Adjarasport reports (via Marcel Dorff of MMADNA).
Topuria has displayed an excellent mix of striking and grappling in his two UFC bouts, taking down Youssef Zalal five times in his debut last October and finishing Damon Jackson via strikes the following December. He now draws a jiu-jitsu specialist in Hall, and if Topuria decides to attempt a takedown, he'd be the first fighter to do so in Hall's four UFC fights. Topuria may elect to put his 100 percent takedown defense to use and keep this fight standing. While he's giving up height and reach to Hall, his best path to victory could very well be on the feet.
Fighting Ludovit Klein in May
February 19, 2021
Topuria will take on Ludovit Klein on May 8, Marcel Dorff of MMADNA reports.
Both fighters are undefeated under the UFC banner, though their careers with the promotion cover just three total fights. Topuria has two wins under his belt, including a first-round knockout victory over Damon Jackson in his latest fight in December. Klein's only fight with the promotion was also a first-round knockout, as he beat Shane Young in his debut back in September.
Hammers Damon Jackson
December 5, 2020
Topuria defeated Damon Jackson via KO (punches) at 2:38 of Round 1 at UFC on ESPN 19 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
You can't do it any better. Despite entering as the much smaller man, Topuria -- a mat specialist by nature -- hammered Jackson on the feet. He did of brilliant job of going to both the body and head, along with constantly pressuring Jackson and forcing him to play defense. It was a flawless effort from a kid who won't turn 24 years of age until next month. Our exposure to Topuria in the UFC consists of all of two fights, but he's an obvious guy who keep an eye on at 145 pounds given his youth and emerging all-around skill set.
Slated to fight in December
November 6, 2020
Topuria will take on Damon Jackson in a featherweight matchup at a UFC event scheduled for Dec. 5, Marcel Dorff of reports.
Topuria made his UFC debut on short notice in October when he defeated Youssef Zalal via unanimous decision. Jackson's last fight also took place on short notice as he defeated Mirsad Bektic via submission (guillotine choke) in September. Jackson has an advantage in height as each fighter seeks to extend their winning streak.
Excellent effort in UFC debut
October 10, 2020
Topuria defeated Youssef Zalal via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.
It was an excellent debut from Topuria that was made all the more impressive by the fact he accepted this fight on just days notice. Recognizing the clear advantage he had on the mat, Topuria went about racking up takedowns and submission attempts. He finished the 15-minute bout with five successful takedowns, five advances, five submission attempts and 8:02 worth of control time. It was a stellar effort from Topuria in a fight that was nowhere near as close as the scorecards made it appear. Topuria (seven career submission victories) is clearly a talented mat specialist, but the challenge will now be for the 23-year-old Spaniard to improve his stand-up game.