Ilia Topuria responds to Sean O’Malley callout after UFC 299: ‘There is a fight chasing you’

Ilia Topuria has played down Sean O’Malley’s callout after UFC 299, claiming that the bantamweight champion should fight Merab Dvalishvili first.

O’Malley made his first defence of the bantamweight belt on Saturday, outpointing Marlon “Chito” Vera with ease to avenge a 2020 TKO loss to the Ecuadorian. “Sugar Sean” has recently talked up the possibility of challenging new featherweight champion Topuria, and the American made a formal callout after his win over Vera.

“Dana [White], get me a jet to Spain. I want Ilia Topuria,” O’Malley said, addressing the UFC president, before adding: “If you guys want me to knock out Merab, I’ll do that, too.”

Dvalishvili, riding a 10-fight win streak, is ranked No 1 in the bantamweight division, while Topuria became featherweight champion by knocking out Alexander Volkanovski in February.

The Georgian-born fighter, who also represents Spain, responded to O’Malley’s callout by writing on X: “Suga, congrats. Was a beautiful performance!

“There is a fight chasing you with Merab. Get that done first.”

Topuria has expressed his desire to headline the UFC’s first ever event in Spain, though no such event has yet been announced.

Volkanovski has declared that he wants a rematch with Topuria before the end of the year, and the Australian also reacted to O’Malley’s callout at the weekend, saying: “If you [two] can do a turnaround any time soon, I guess you can have it, because I’m having a little rest – but I’m fighting him later in the year, or whenever that is.

“I know I’m fighting for the title next, so if you are gonna try and squeeze that in, it better be soon, because I’m next. So, there you go: There’s your little window, if you want it, Sean. Congratulations on your victory, mate. Impressive.”