Alexander Volkanovski vs. Ilia Topruria featherweight title fight targeted for UFC 298 in February

By Fernando Quiles - November 5, 2023

UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski may not be fighting in January, but he is factored into plans for a February title bout.

Alexander Volkanovski and Ilia Topuria.

Volkanovski had asked for a quick turnaround after suffering a head kick knockout loss in his rematch with UFC lightweight titleholder Islam Makhachev. After the defeat, an emotional Volkanovski said he needs to fight again soon because without something scheduled he loses direction.


Alexander Volkanovski vs. Ilia Topuria Planned For February

Ariel Helwani is reporting that while the UFC was initially looking to grant Volkanovski’s wish for a January 20 fight, the new plan is to have “The Great” put his gold on the line against Ilia Topuria in February.

“The current plan – though not finalized just yet – is to have Islam Makhachev x Charles Oliveira 2 – headline UFC 297,” Helwani wrote. “That event, while not officially announced yet, is currently slated to Jan. 20 in Toronto. The original plan for that main was Volkanovski x Topuria, but now the plan is for that to be on the February PPV. Raquel Pennington x Mayra Bueno Silva for the vacant 135 title also scheduled for that January card, as reported yesterday.”

Many were hoping that Volkanovski would wait at least until the spring to have another fight, but he has insisted that he’s fine and doesn’t need much time on the shelf. On his YouTube channel, Volkanovski explained why he doesn’t  feel taking more time off would be beneficial, “Like I said, I am the best version of myself inside and outside of the cage, whenever I have clear direction.” He’ll be facing a hungry contender in Topuria, who is undefeated with a pro MMA record of 14-0.

Volkanovski hadn’t been finished since 2013 before running into Makhachev. It’ll be the first time a much wider audience gets to see how he bounces back from being knocked out.


Alex Volkanovski Ilia Topuria UFC