Ilia Topuria responds after Yair Rodriguez takes aim at his UFC resume: “They don’t use me as a rag in the fights”

By Susan Cox - January 26, 2024

Ilia Topuria is responding after former interim featherweight champion Yair Rodriguez took aim at his UFC resume.

Ilia Topuria

It was Rodriguez who recently took aim at Topuria, claiming that he ‘talked’ his way into a title shot.

Rodriguez, speaking with ‘Middle Easy‘ spoke about Topuria, a portion of what he said included:

“Ilia’s good, but I don’t think he has what he needs in order for him to win that fight (against Volkanovski).”

“Because this guy (Ilia Topuria) just talked so much sh*t, they just give him the opportunity, you know?”

It will be at UFC 298 on Saturday, February 17th at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California that the undefeated Ilia Topuria (14-0 MMA) will get in the Octagon with Alexander Volkanovski (26-3 MMA) in the main event featherweight title bout.

Topuria, speaking in an interview with ‘KOImenero’ responded to what Rodriguez implied saying:

“They have not been giving me big fights because I’ve been talking, but because I have been winning, which is something that differentiates him and me. I don’t win fights because my opponent’s (Ortega) shoulder pops out. I don’t win because they beat me up, and in the fifth round he (Jung) took an elbow that I don’t even know where it came from. They don’t use me as a rag in the fights.”

Continuing ‘El Matador’ shared some advice for ‘El Pantera’ (h/t MMAJunkie):

“What do you mean I talk? Let him talk, and he will see that he will not get anything. If he is going to see this, a piece of advice for him: Let him start winning, and he will start receiving things. Talking doesn’t get you anything. What you have to do is to win, which is something that is hard to do.”

Obviously, Ilia Topuria believes it’s his skills and winning ways which have got him to where he is – not talking. And after all it is Topuria who’s getting that title shot in a few weeks.

As far as Rodriguez (16-4 MMA) he’s preparing for his featherweight fight against Brian Ortega (15-3 MMA) in the co-main event on Saturday, February 24th in Mexico City.

Do you agree with Ilia Topuria that he’s earned a title fight by winning 6 consecutive fights since joining the UFC?

Share your thoughts in the comment section PENN Nation!


Ilia Topuria UFC Yair Rodriguez