Video: UFC champ Ilia Topuria honored at Real Madrid game with special kickoff after winning title 

Featherweight champion Ilia Topuria was celebrated at the Real Madrid soccer match on Sunday after he became the first fighter from Spain to capture a UFC title.

Just over a week after he knocked out Alexander Volkanovski to win the 145-pound title, Topuria was honored at the game inside the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid with a packed house in attendance for the match between Real Madrid and Sevilla.

Topuria walked out with the UFC title on his shoulder as he met with the players on the pitch before conducting the honorary kickoff to start the game.

It’s the latest recognition that Topuria’s star power only continues to grow in the wake of his victory over Volkanovski to become champion. With a perfect 15-0 record with 13 finishes along the way, Topuria appears primed to become one of the UFC’s next major superstars.

If the celebration at the Real Madrid game on Sunday wasn’t enough, Topuria may receive an even more raucous reception for his first title defense.

On Saturday night just after the UFC Mexico City card ended, UFC CEO Dana White confirmed plans for the promotion to take a card to Spain sooner rather than later.

“I would love to go to Spain so we’ve got to figure that out,” White said. “We’ll start grinding and try to make that happen but the answer is yes, I want to do that and I want to do that this year.”

That’s probably welcome news for Topuria, especially after the reception he received at the Real Madrid game. Now it’s possible he’ll get the chance to return home to Spain again for his first title defense later this year.

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