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Alexander Volkanovski Plans to Make Ilia Topuria ‘Eat Some of His Words’ at UFC 298


Volkanovski has no shortage of motivation heading into his
latest title defense at
UFC 298.

Not only is the
City Kickboxing standout coming off back-to-back losses to
reigning lightweight king Islam
Makhachev, but he will be facing a dangerous, undefeated
challenger in Ilia
Topuria. If he had gotten his way, Volkanovski would have faced
Topuria even sooner.

“The good thing is about someone like that, I’m always trying to
fight or find a No. 1 guy. A clear contender for me to face in this
featherweight division and Ilia is it, right?” Volkanovski said on
his YouTube channel. “He was the next, it’s clear. They signed the
date. I actually wanted him straight after Yair [Rodriguez at UFC
290]. I told him come jump the fence and get a faceoff because he
was undefeated. I didn’t want anyone else fighting him. I wanted to
make sure I got a young, hungry undefeated guy that’s got hype
around him.

“He likes to talk. So, it’s easy to get motivated for this, right?
I need to do nothing to hype up this fight. Let him do the talking
and I’ll do the walking February 17, 18 here in Australia. I’m
gonna go work, humble him, and show the world again — remind them
and let him know that he’s still got a way’s to go until he’s up at
the top. I’m gonna show him that Feb. 17.”

Topuria has been supremely confident ahead of the matchup with
Volkanovski. “El Matador,” who is undefeated in 14 professional
appearances, recently
forecast a first-round knockout of Volkanovski. The Australian
champion has responded with a prediction of his own.

“Prediction is, I teach him a good lesson,” Volkanovski said. “He’s
going to be embarrassed, he’s going to eat some of his words, and
it’s going to be maybe be the start of his journey. Again, he’s
young. He is confident. I’ll humble him. He’ll bounce back and
start after I give him a good ass beating. Round 2, I think. I
think I crumble him in the first.

“I’m not saying it’s going to be an easy fight, but I think just
how confident he is, he hasn’t been able to prove that. I prove
that every time I step in this gym. I’m pushing myself to the
limits. I don’t know if he does. He doesn’t act like it. So I’m
going to push him, and I think I crumble him inside one, and I get
the finish soon after that.”

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