Ilia Topuria responds to Sean O’Malley taunt, eyes Conor McGregor instead

Ilia Topuria plans to beat Alexander Volkanovski and then challenge another big name, but it won’t be Sean O’Malley.

O’Malley hinted on social media that a future clash could take place between he and Topuria, with both men scheduled for title fights in the coming months. “Sugar” goes for the first defense of his bantamweight title when he takes on rival Marlon “Chito” Vera at UFC 299 in March, while Topuria challenges longtime featherweight champion Volkanovski at UFC 298 in February.

“Ilia’s my Eddie,” O’Malley wrote, seemingly alluding to Conor McGregor famously becoming a two-division champion by defeating Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 and suggesting that he will achieve the same glory by beating Topuria for a second belt in the future.

Topuria wasn’t having it, replying that O’Malley isn’t on his level and that he expects to fight McGregor instead.

“I offered to fight you but the UFC told me that you are only good for fighting in teenagers’ places, because that’s your only fan base,” Topuria wrote on social media. “Our fight will never happen. After fighting Volk I will fight Conor and you will come as a fan boy. After seeing your PPV numbers the only thing I can offer you is that you fight in the preliminaries of my card.”

O’Malley won the bantamweight belt with a second-round TKO of Aljamain Sterling at UFC 292 this past August, reaching champion status to further build his growing popularity. He faces a tall task in Vera, who defeated O’Malley at UFC 252 in a bout that also saw O’Malley suffer a minor foot injury.

If O’Malley wants a piece of Topuria, he’ll have to hope that Topuria gets past Volkanovski at UFC 298. Volkanovski seeks the sixth consecutive defense of his featherweight title, with the undefeated Topuria presenting a legitimate threat to end his reign.

As for Topuria’s callout of McGregor, it would likely require Topuria to move up to 155 pounds (something he’s successfully done once in the UFC already) and somehow garner the attention of “The Notorious.” McGregor already has plans for 2024 as he recently announced that he is fighting Michael Chandler on June 29.

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