UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski hasn’t been impressed by Ilia Topuria’s quick rise to the top of the division.
Volkanovski defeated Yair Rodríguez for the lineal UFC featherweight championship on Saturday at UFC 290. After taking some early damage against the dangerous Rodríguez, Volkanovski found his rhythm with his wrestling and brutal ground-and-pound to close the show.
After dismantling Rodríguez to remain the UFC featherweight champion, Volkanovski turned his attention to potential upcoming challenges. This includes a lightweight title rematch with Islam Makhachev and a looming featherweight defense against Topuria.
Topuria made noise last month by defeating Josh Emmett at UFC Jacksonville. He has won all six of his UFC fights and is 14-0 in his career overall.
Topuria attempted to intimidate Volkanovski after UFC 290, but Volkanovski wasn’t thrown off by his advances.
Alexander Volkanovski Hints At ‘Easy’ Ilia Topuria Title Defense
During the UFC 290 post-fight press conference, Volkanovski gave a brutally honest assessment of Topuria’s skills and trash talk.
“It’s funny with this one. You want to talk up your opponents, right? I mean, he’s gonna talk his s***. I can say whatever I want to, you know, people don’t have to believe it, but…maybe I shouldn’t say how easy I think that fight is going to be,” Volkanovski said. “Because then people might not be interested, but he’s going to talk his s***, and people are gonna want to see me punch him in the face, so it don’t matter. But I look at that [fight] as again, no disrespect to the bloke but the s*** he is doing ain’t gonna work on me, and hopefully, you’ll get to see that soon.”
Volkanovski has made it look easy over his past few featherweight title fights. After a close win over Max Holloway at UFC 251, he’s looked dominant ever since, with lopsided victories over the likes of The Korean Zombie and Brian Ortega.
Topuria, likewise, has been faced with little resistance during his recent stint. Before finishing Emmett, he finished the likes of Bryce Mitchell and Jai Herbert inside the Octagon.
Topuria is arguably the most logical option for the next featherweight title challenger, although Volkanovski isn’t putting as much stock into his chances at an upset as most others are.
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