Surging featherweight contender Ilia Topuria gets the main event spotlight this weekend at UFC Jacksonville, and the in-form 145er is clearly confident of victory in Florida.

Chatting to the press during media day ahead of the event, he spoke about his matchup with fellow featherweight contender Josh Emmett, and said that he has his opponent’s number in all areas.

“I just have to be worried about his hooks, nothing else,” he said, hinting at Emmett’s prodigious one-shot knockout power.

“I couldn’t care less about his wrestling.., or his ground game, even his boxing. He has to be worried about my boxing, my wrestling, my grappling – about everything. So I can’t wait to go inside the cage and get another win.”

German-born, Spanish-based and Georgian in heritage, Topuria has an unblemished 13-0 record, including five straight wins in the UFC. His last four outings all finished inside two rounds, including a hat-trick of crushing knockouts as he finished Damon Jackson, Ryan Hall and Jai Herbert (at lightweight) in devastating fashion. His most recent outing saw him submit grappling specialist Bryce Mitchell at UFC 282.

Now ranked ninth in the UFC’s official featherweight rankings, Topuria faces No. 5-ranked Emmett in his first UFC main event. It’s an opportunity to claim a big win against top-drawer opposition, but, regardless of his ranking position, Topuria believes he’s the top contender in the division already.

“I’m the next guy in line,” he stated.

“Who deserves more than me to fight for the title? No one else. So I’m the next guy.”

Topuria plans to underline that claim with a statement finish on Saturday night in Jacksonville, and he followed up his confident statements with a bold prediction for the matchup.

“Same as always. I’m gonna finish him in the first round.

“I’m not overlooking anyone. Never, ever. It’s like I’m just confident about all the work I’m doing, how hard I work. I know everything I’m doing in all my training camps. It’s like the confidence doesn’t come from the air, you know? I work really hard and I know that I’m better than anyone.”

The featherweight title will be contested next month at UFC 290, as defending champion Alexander Volkanovski looks to unify the belts when he takes on Mexico’s interim champion Yair Rodriguez.

Topuria already has his sights set on a title fight, and offered a preference on who he’d like to face for the title, saying he wanted to face long-reigning champ Volkanovski, rather than current interim champ Rodriguez.

“Of course, it’s going to be a little bit bigger to beat someone who is pound-for-pound number one, and who defended the title so many times. It’s going to be bigger than if Yair beats him and I beat Yair, because Yair lost a lot of fights with a lot of ranked guys with Max Holloway, with Frankie Edgar. He lost a lot of fights. So I prefer to fight with Alex and take the win against him.”

Whether he gets that chance will depend firstly on how things go on Saturday night. But, if Topuria can produce anything to match his last four Octagon appearances, calls for a Topuria title shot will be even louder.