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Dana White Eyes Event in Spain as Ilia Topuria Claims UFC Featherweight Title

LockerRoom Team
19 February 2024

The prospect of bringing a UFC event to Spain has long been on UFC CEO Dana White's radar, but now, with a new Georgian-Spanish champion crowned, it's become a top priority.

Following Ilia Topuria's stunning victory over Alexander Volkanovski by second-round knockout to secure the featherweight title at UFC 298's main event in the Honda Center, White wasted no time in declaring Spain as the next destination for the UFC.

"We're going to Spain," White announced to reporters, including MMA Junkie, during the post-fight news conference. "If there's a venue available for us, we'll be there."

Topuria's triumph is sure to amplify excitement among Spanish fight fans. During UFC 298 fight week, Topuria expressed his desire to compete against Conor McGregor at Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, a dream he reiterated in his octagon interview with Joe Rogan.

The outcome of UFC 298 could have easily dashed Topuria's ambitions, but the undefeated fighter proved his mettle with an impressive performance against Volkanovski. White took note of Topuria's skill and composure, particularly given the magnitude of the event.

"A lot of questions going into this thing: never been in a main event like this, never felt the heat, the pressure," White remarked. "He couldn't have looked any better against a Volk who looked really good, too. That fight was heating up. They were exchanging. Topuria looked solid, man – very solid."

White's praise for Topuria extended beyond his victory, acknowledging the formidable challenge posed by Volkanovski, whom he hailed as one of the greatest in the featherweight division. With Topuria's continued dedication and performance, White anticipates his emergence as a dominant force in the division.

"I think he looked great. Volk is one of the greatest of all time, and he's definitely the greatest in that weight class ever," White said. "Topuria looked damn good in his last fight (vs. Josh Emmett), and he looked damn good tonight. If he keeps his head together and continues to do what he's doing, he's going to be a force in that division."

As the UFC explores opportunities to expand its global reach, Topuria's victory has set the stage for an electrifying debut in Spain, further solidifying the country's presence in the world of mixed martial arts.

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