Ilia Topuria responds to Sean O’Malley’s callout after UFC 299

Ilia Topuria was impressed by Sean O’Malley’s dominant performance against Marlon Vera at UFC 299, but he believes the bantamweight champion has another hurdle to leap over before moving up to challenge for the 145-pound title.

O’Malley retained the bantamweight belt with a scorecard-sweeping unanimous decision on Saturday night in Miami. Speaking with Joe Rogan following his victory, he called for a fight against Topuria as his top choice, but he also said that if the UFC preferred that “Sugar” defend his 135-pound belt against No. 1 contender Merab Dvalishvili next, he would be fine with that option.

Topuria reacted to O’Malley’s first title defense, and responded to the callout on Twitter.

“Suga, congrats… was a beautiful performance,” Topuria said. “There is a fight chasing you with Merab. Get that done first.”

Topuria captured the UFC featherweight title with a “Knockout of the Year” contender, delivering a second-round finish of longtime champion Alexander Volkanovski in the main event of UFC 298 in February. The new champ and UFC CEO Dana White are hopeful that Topuria’s first title defense will take place in Spain later this year.

Following Saturday’s event, White said there is no official timeline for the promotion’s first trip to the area at the moment.

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