Published 13:52 IST, April 19th 2024

UFC Champion Ilia Topuria reveals starstruck experience of meeting Lionel Messi, 'He told me...'

UFC Featherweight Champion Ilia Topuria reveals what Lionel Messi told him during their interaction. Topuria became the champion after defeating Volkanovski.

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Lionel Messi and Ilia Topuria | Image: @AlbicelesteTalk

Ilia Topuria made his way into the mainstream with a ferocious knockout win over Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 298. Following his victory, the new UFC Featherweight Champion received a grand reception at the iconic Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, which is the home of the Spanish football club Real Madrid. El Matador's football association has continued as he has now met the greatest-ever rival of Real Madrid, the 8-time Balon d'Or winner Lionel Messi.

Also Read | Max Holloway reacts to UFC champion Ilia Tapuria's massive claim


When El Matador met El Mago Lionel Messi

The UFC Featherweight Champion recently appeared on the episode of MMA Hour. There, host Ariel Helwani asked him about his experience of meeting renowned footballer, Lionel Messi. Addressing the query, Topuria stated that it was his first-ever meeting with Lionel Messi, and the two had a pleasant one-to-one. Topuria revealed that Messi enquired him about his next fight and in turn, he invited Messi to his next fight. 

“Yeah, that was the first time I meet Messi. He was like one of the persons I always had in my mind that if I see him, I am going to ask him for a picture. Him and Michael Jordan, I would ask them for a picture. So first of all he told me congratulations on your fight, when is your next fight? I invite him for my next fight. He told me like I have to check my schedule I would love to come.”


Ilia Topuria was in attendance at UFC 300. He received a call-out from Max Holloway, who dropped a masterclass against Justin Gaethje for the BMF title. Topuria has accepted Holloway's challenge and made it known that he wants to fight the Blessed in the latter part of the year. Thus, in the meanwhile, Topuria could fight once earlier in the year. If not, a contest against Max Holloway in the last quarter and Lionel Messi in attendance, it cannot get better than this.




13:46 IST, April 19th 2024