Alexander Volkanovski vows to embarrass Ilia Topuria in UFC 298 return: “I am still that guy”

By Josh Evanoff - December 5, 2023

UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski is out to prove a point against Ilia Topuria.

Alexander Volkanovski

‘The Great’ has been out of the cage since a short-notice rematch with Islam Makhachev in October. There, Alexander Volkanovski suffered his second loss to the lightweight champion, this time by stoppage. Following the bout, he called for a fast turnaround against Ilia Topuria in January.

Ultimately, the two were quickly booked for the main event of UFC 298 in February. Speaking in a recent interview with the ‘Who The Fook Are These Guys’ Podcast’, Alexander Volkanovski previewed his return. There, he stated that he planned to embarrass Ilia Topuria in 2024.

In the interview, the featherweight champion admitted that he was out to prove something in his return. Part of that is motivated by the idea that Alexander Volkanovski showed weakness following his recent loss. However, he doesn’t view it that way. Now, he’s out to show that he’s still that guy against Ilia Topuria early next year.


Alexander Volkanovski and UFC 5

“That’s right, I’m still that guy… This guy thinks he’s the man,” Alexander Volkanovski stated, referring to Ilia Topuria. “It’s funny. For me, I’ve always wanted to earn my stripes. Earn these positions, put myself in there, and earn that respect. This guy’s just getting things given to him and probably not even that much but he thinks he’s the man. The beautiful thing about it is I get to teach a kid a lesson.” (h/t MMA Fighting)

He continued, “Ready to go out there, I’m hoping to teach him a lesson, humble him a little bit, and still let him wake up to himself and then he can bounce back when my time’s done. He needs a bit of humbling. 26, perfect age. He needs the world to see. He maybe needs a bit of embarrassment and snap things into gear and maybe he can one day be a great champion. Right now he wants to act like how he’s acting, I’m just gonna teach him a lesson, I’m gonna embarrass him, he’s young enough to bounce back in a positive way. I’ll play teacher the next few months.”

What do you make of these comments from Alexander Volkanovski? Do you believe he’ll defeat Ilia Topuria at UFC 298?


Alex Volkanovski Ilia Topuria UFC