Ilia Topuria praises ‘showman’ Sean O’Malley: ‘I like him, he’s doing a great job’

Sean O'Malley has Ilia Topuria’s respect.

Bantamweight champion O’Malley called out featherweight champ Topuria after he battered Marlon Vera at UFC 299 in March. Topuria dismissed the callout, telling O’Malley to focus on Merab Dvalishvili first.

Topuria (15-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC) hasn’t minced his words when it comes to many UFC fighters, but surprisingly had some nice things to say about O’Malley (18-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC). He recognizes “The Suga Show’s” star power and skills.

“He’s doing a great, amazing job,” Topuria told Sportskeeda of O’Malley. “He’s becoming bigger and bigger in the sport. He’s a big star in the United States. Even as a fighter, I like his fight style, too – I like his movements. Everything he does, he’s a showman. I like him. he’s doing a great job.”

Topuria is currently focused on defending his title against Max Holloway, then a dream fight with Conor McGregor at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Spain. O’Malley has shifted his focus on Topuria’s good friend and fellow Georgian Dvalishvili for his next title defense.

“El Matador” recalls a brief, but cordial encounter with O’Malley last month.

“We just spoke once at UFC 300,” Topuria said. “We had a short conversation. We spoke for about one minute, but he was nice to me. He was nice.”

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie