Ilia Topuria, 23, of Alicante, Spain was one of the winners at “UFC on ESPN 19,” also known as “UFC Vegas 16.” It was the Georgian-Spanish mixed martial artist’s second victory in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Featuring eight MMA matches, “UFC Vegas 16” took place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA on December 5, 2020. In the second bout of the evening, Topuria fought Damon “The Leech” Jackson, 32, of Dallas, Texas, USA in the featherweight division.
Mark Smith served as the referee. He put a stop to the featherweight contest after 2 minutes and 38 seconds in the first round when Topuria knocked out Jackson via punches.
Winning at “UFC Vegas 16” improved the professional MMA record of Topuria to 10 wins and 0 loss. It was the second time he knocked out an opponent in a professional MMA bout.
On the other hand, Jackson now has 18 wins, 4 losses, 1 draw and 1 No Contest. It was his second outing in the UFC and first loss in the promotion.
Seven countries were represented at “UFC Vegas 16” namely Brazil, Georgia, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Sweden and the U.S. Topuria solely represented Spain while Jackson was one of the nine fighters who represented the host country.
Born to Georgian parents in Halle, Germany on January 21, 1997, Topuria was 15 years old when he moved to Alicante. Training out of Climent Team MMA in Alicante, he made his professional MMA debut in 2015.
Topuria joined the UFC in 2020 and “UFC Vegas 16” marked his second outing in the promotion. When he made his promotional debut at “UFC Fight Night 179” on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on October 10, 2020, he defeated Youssef “The Moroccan Devil” Zalal, 24, of Englewood, Colorado, USA via unanimous decision.
Before joining the UFC, Topuria competed in West Coast Warriors, Climent Show MMA, Mix Fight Events, CAGE, Cage Warriors and BRAVE Combat Federation. To prepare for his “UFC Vegas 16” bout, he trained at MMA Masters in Miami, Florida, USA.