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Recently-crowned UFC featherweight champion likely has his next assignment set after Saturday night’s explosive UFC 300 card in Las Vegas. 

In a spectacular fight which served as the centrepiece to the historic card, Holloway scored a sensational KO of Justin Gaethje in the final second of the fight to become the UFC’s latest ceremonial ‘BMF’ champ. Speaking afterwards, Holloway made clear that his sights are set on once again earning undisputed UFC gold — and it seems that 145-pound champion Ilia Topuria will be happy to oblige him.

“Congrats on your performance Max,” the champion wrote on X (formerly Twitter) early on Monday. “Respect your story and everything you achieved with a beautiful family. Hopefully we gonna share the octagon before the end of the year and trust me you gonna feel something that you never felt before. I will be the first one to take your lights out.”

Topuria brings pedigree to the cage. The Georgian-Spaniard earlier this year became the first fighter to score a featherweight win over the formerly longtime dominant champion Alexander Volkanovski — a fighter who holds three wins over Holloway.

And speaking to ESPN Deportes, as noted by MMA Fighting, ‘El Matador’ said that he is anticipating a conclusive showing against Holloway.

“I’m really happy because we just saw Holloway win, so I just realised I will have two belts instead of one,” he said, noting his hope that the ‘BMF’ title will be up for grabs.  “Let’s see. Nothing concrete, but there was a big chance that if walked out victorious of the octagon he could be next. I’m not sure if he is hurt. I hope not so he can come back soon and we can have a fight.”

As for the Holloway-Gaethje finish, Topuria said that it was entertaining but lacked any real strategy.

“Well, it was good. Nothing special to be honest,” he said. “The ending was only an exchange of punches without any strategy. Both just throwing punches. Zero defense, hands down, and that kind of things can happen but that is something that would never happen with me because I think inside the octagon.

“He is a really easy fight as usual,” Topuria added of his presumptive next opponent. “I know people will come at me for saying this. This is what I think. I don’t see anything special. He is basic. Too basic. That’s what I see.

“He doesn’t know what to do when he is under pressure, can’t walk backward. Everybody is good when they have time to think. When you can walk forward, when they let you do whatever you want. Everyone is good there, but when you have someone who thinks, who counters, who attacks, who closes the angles, who throws power punches, is accurate, who can also wrestle, can take you to the ground, has an unbreakable mentality, undefeated  Things get very complicated.”