Topuria (14-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) challenges featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski (26-3 MMA, 13-2 UFC) in the Feb. 17 headliner at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
Undefeated Topuria’s confidence has been sky-high ahead of his title shot against five-time defending champion Volkanovski. Not only did he already update his social media bio to champion, he predicted a first-round knockout, and has already dismissed Max Holloway, Yair Rodriguez, and Brian Ortega as title challengers.
“It seems like all (Topuria) wants to do is put pressure on himself,” Cormier said on his YouTube channel. “This dude has now said he’s releasing a movie on becoming the champion of the world. This dude has updated his bio with another win and he’s now the UFC featherweight champion.
“This dude has stated he wants to fight in the same stadium where Real Madrid plays football in Spain, This dude has said to anyone that will listen how Alexander Volkanovski cannot compete with him. Most people under these circumstances want to release the pressure – not this dude.”
While many think Topuria is potentially setting himself up for a big fall, Cormier thinks a win could skyrocket his career the same way Conor McGregor did when he dethroned Jose Aldo with a 13-second knockout.
“This reminds me of Conor about to fight Jose Aldo,” Cormier said. “He told you, and he was so sure that he was going to get it done that you knew that if it happened, he would become a star that we had never seen in the UFC before or in fighting. So when it happened, he went to the moon. I feel like Ilia Topuria is setting himself up to have that type of ascent if he can deliver on all of the promises that he is making.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 298.