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Topuria vows to KO Holloway: 'I will be the 1st one to take your lights out'

Chris Unger / UFC / Getty

UFC featherweight champion Ilia Topuria promised to do something no one has: knock out former champ Max Holloway in the Octagon.

Topuria warned Holloway in an X post Sunday night, one day after the latter scored an unbelievable last-second knockout over Justin Gaethje in a lightweight bout at UFC 300 to claim the BMF title.

"Congrats on your performance, Max," Topuria wrote. "Respect your story and everything you achieved with a beautiful family. Hopefully, we (are) gonna share the Octagon before the end of the year. And trust me, you (are) gonna feel something that you never felt before. I will be the first one to take your lights out."

Holloway has never been finished by knockout or TKO in his pro MMA career, which spans 33 fights, including seven losses. His only stoppage defeat was a submission against Dustin Poirier in 2012. Holloway has never even been officially knocked down in 29 UFC fights, dating back more than 12 years.

Holloway responded to Topuria on Monday morning with a brief message.

"It's all love, champ," Holloway wrote. "I'll be seeing you soon."

Holloway called out Topuria in his postfight interview after beating Gaethje on Saturday in Las Vegas. Holloway, who moved up to 155 pounds for the second time in his UFC career, also mentioned the idea of staying at that weight and challenging lightweight champion Islam Makhachev. But Topuria appears more likely to be next.

Holloway, who has won three straight - including two vicious knockouts - since a one-sided loss in a trilogy bout with former featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski in July 2022, is now a top contender at both 145 and 155 pounds. Holloway is the No. 2-ranked featherweight, and Gaethje was the No. 2-ranked lightweight before UFC 300.

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