Daniel Cormier heaps praise on undefeated UFC featherweight contender Ilia Topuria: “He is the evolution of mixed martial arts”

By Harry Kettle - June 27, 2023

UFC commentator Daniel Cormier has praised Ilia Topuria as a breakout star at featherweight following his win over the weekend.

Ilia Topuria and Josh Emmett

Last Saturday night, Ilia Topuria made a real statement. He battered and bruised Josh Emmett, coming away with the biggest win of his career so far. It proved he can go five rounds, it proved he can mix things up, and it proved he’s a genuine contender at 145 pounds.


Of course, there’s still a decent road ahead before he can become champion. Some feel like he should get the winner of Alexander Volkanovski vs Yair Rodriguez, whereas others want to see him go through Max Holloway.

There are plenty of options out there for the 26-year-old. In the mind of Daniel Cormier, he’s also paving the way for a whole new generation in MMA.

“He’s young. He’s like 25 years old or 26 years old. He hasn’t fought much,” Cormier said. “The only thing that you could even take as a negative was he didn’t do the fighter meetings because he was cutting weight. That’s literally the only misstep. He had to get his weight down, and that’s not really a misstep.

Cormier praises Topuria

“You can’t judge him harshly in anything that he did over the course of the first main event week that he’s ever had. He’s calm. He’s collected. His demeanor outside of the octagon translates so well inside the octagon. He’s at the high guard, he’s in there, he sets everything up – he wastes nothing. This dude is just – he really is next-level and he is the evolution of mixed martial arts.”

Quotes via MMA Junkie

Do you agree with Daniel Cormier? Will Ilia Topuria become a world champion in the UFC? Let us know your thoughts, BJPENN Nation!


Daniel Cormier Ilia Topuria Josh Emmett UFC