New UFC champ Ilia Topuria meets with Spain’s PM as victory tour continues

Ilia Topuria celebrates after knocking out Alexander Volanovski during their featherweight bout at the UFC 298 mixed martial arts event Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. (

Ilia Topuria is already one of the most famous UFC athletes ever to come from Europe and the burgeoning superstar’s victory tour continued this week.

The newest UFC featherweight champion met with Spain’s Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, on Tuesday and was told he will granted his Spanish citizenship.

Topuria was born in Germany to Georgian parents and spent most of his formative years in his native Georgia before moving to Spain as a teenager. Topuria has attempted to obtain Spanish citizenship for years.

The 27-year-old has carried the Georgian and Spanish flags with him throughout his UFC career, and both were draped around his shoulders when he had his hand raised at UFC 298 earlier this month when he improved to 15-0 in mixed martial arts after knocking out Alexander Volkanovski in devastating fashion.

Topuria also received a rousing ovation in Spain over the weekend when he was invited to perform a ceremonial kick prior to a Real Madrid game.

As Topuria’s international star power grows, it is not yet clear against whom he will make his first title defence.

Brian Ortega is the odds-on favourite to get the next title shot, at least according to opening odds at BetOnline, after submitting Yair Rodriguez in Mexico City this past Saturday.

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