Ilia Topuria Set to Defend Title in Spain: “I Have a Date”

"El Matador" Targets Title Defense in Spain

Event Announcement

Ilia Topuria, the reigning featherweight champion, clinched the title at UFC 298 in February with a knockout victory over Alexander Volkanovski in the second round of their highly anticipated main event. Since his victory, “El Matador” has been vocal about his desire to defend his belt in his home country of Spain.

The 27-year-old dreams of headlining an event at the iconic Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, the home ground of football giants Real Madrid.

UFC’s European Expansion

UFC has confirmed upcoming events in Manchester and Paris, sparking hopes for a major event at the grand Madrid arena for the featherweight champion. “El Matador” announced via X (formerly known as Twitter) on the morning of March 14th, just hours after UFC’s announcement of its return to Paris, that a UFC event in Spain now has a date.


Event Buzz

The post, translated as “I already have a date for UFC Spain”, has generated excitement although UFC has yet to confirm this statement. There have been rumors that the first-ever Spanish UFC event could take place as early as this summer.

Historically, UFC has never hosted an event in Spain, partly due to the lack of major local names. However, with Ilia Topuria as one of UFC’s biggest current stars and the evident interest in major events in Europe, the featherweight champion’s dream might soon become a reality.

Venue Challenges

UFC President Dana White mentioned post-UFC 298 that an event at Santiago Bernabeu sounds appealing. He provided further updates about UFC Spain during the UFC 300 press conference, acknowledging challenges in securing available venues for the historic event.

Next Opponent for Topuria

The new featherweight champion has several options for his first title defense. While the Spaniard has mentioned a rematch with Alexander Volkanovski and a bout against Brian Ortega, Max Holloway seems to be the most compelling match following his last-second knockout win over Justin Gaethje. Holloway is back in the conversation to challenge for both the featherweight and lightweight titles, with the former being the most plausible scenario for a must-see match.

“I already have a date for UFC Spain” – Ilia Topuria via X.

“An event at Santiago Bernabeu sounds appealing.” – Dana White, post-UFC 298.

“There have been challenges in securing venues.” – Dana White at UFC 300 press conference.

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