UFC Fighter Ilia Topuria (10-0)

MMA fighters are savages. They are the best athletes on planet earth, and β€” as human beings β€” have an extraordinarily wide-ranging set of interests. Who are they as people? What makes them tick? What does each athlete have in common with the fans that cheer them on? This series fills in those blanks and gets to the heart of the matter, while exploring what makes your favorite fighters who they are.

Photo courtesy of Mike Roach/Getty Images

Georgia’s Ilia “El Matador” Topuria is one of the brightest prospects in all of MMA. He has a 90% finish rate with seven submissions and two knockouts. Topuria is one to watch is one to watch. Oh, and he is only 24-years old.

“El Matador” went 8-0 outside of the UFC with eight finishes by the time he made his UFC debut last year on ‘Fight Island.’ Topuria made his highly-anticipated debut against fellow young prospect Youssef Zalal. He would win a dominant unanimous decision- the first time he has even been to the judge’s scorecards.

Topuria would return two months later at UFC Fight Night: Hermansson vs. Vettori against Damon Jackson. It would take him less than three minutes to knock him out.

Topuria returns for his third UFC fight at UFC 264 against former top 15 ranked featherweight Ryan Hall. A win over Hall will not only put Topuria inside the rankings, but he will be the first person to defeat Hall inside of the UFC.

When asked what we should expect from his fight, Topuria said “Destruction with quality and strategy.”

Here is a list of UFC fighter Ilia Topuria’s favorite things.

  • Favorite food – Steak
  • Favorite drink – Apple Juice
  • Favorite color – Black
  • Favorite all-time fight to watch – Rory McDonald vs. Robbie Lawler II
  • Favorite knock out – Conor McGregor vs. Jose Aldo
  • Favorite of your own fights – My fight against Steven Goncalves
  • Favorite sport to watch other than MMA – Boxing
  • Favorite submission to practice – Anaconda Choke
  • Favorite athlete – Canelo Alvarez
  • Favorite movie – The Godfather
  • Favorite TV show – Prison Break
  • Favorite song – Human by Rag’n’Bone Man
  • Favorite band or musician – Myke Towers
  • Favorite place to travel to – Georgia
  • Favorite video game – Counter-Strike
  • Favorite animal – Horse
  • Favorite hobby – Play video games
  • Favorite quote – “Each morning I have two choices: continue to sleep with your dreams, or wake up and chase them!”

You can follow UFC fighter Ilia Topuria on Instagram and Twitter.

Check out the rest of my Humanizing Athletes series.