It seems that the world of mixed martial arts is no stranger to controversy and altercation. This week, UFC featherweight Ilia Topuria was reportedly involved in a bar fight in Spain. Security footage from the incident showed Topuria attacking a patron at the bar after being pushed twice by the man for seemingly no reason. The altercation took place while Topuria was hanging out at the bar with Spanish singer and media personality Omar Montes.
In the video, Topuria can be seen playing a retro arcade game with Montes when the unknown assailant approaches and pushes him. Despite this initial provocation, Topuria refrains from reacting until he is pushed a second time. At this point, the 25-year-old featherweight grabs the man by the shirt and shoves him against the wall before landing several punches.
Following the release of the footage, Montes issued a statement acknowledging his involvement in the incident and threatening action against those who leaked the CCTV footage. “We will be taking measures after whoever released the fight video from the bar cameras,” Montes said in a statement (via ESPN Deportes’ Carlos Contreras Legaspi). “I’m really not like that, but I won’t stay with my arms crossed if they come after my friend. I apologize.”
It’s worth noting that this bar brawl comes just a few days after footage emerged of UFC President Dana White slapping his wife during a New Year’s Eve party in Mexico. While it’s unclear what sparked the altercation between Topuria and the patron at the bar, it’s certainly not a good look for the sport and its athletes.
As for Topuria, the Georgian-born Spaniard emerged as the victor against Bryce Mitchell at UFC 282. The win improved his undefeated record to 13-0 and solidified his position as a future contender for the featherweight title. However, his involvement in this bar fight may put a damper on his upward trajectory in the UFC. It remains to be seen how the organization will address this incident and whether it will have any impact on Topuria’s career.