Alexander Volkanovski feels Ilia Topuria may have been “rushed” into UFC 298 title fight: “I just haven’t seen that elite stuff yet”

By Fernando Quiles - December 7, 2023

UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski doesn’t exactly agree with others who say that Ilia Topuria is already on an elite level.

Alexander Volkanovski

Topuria will be in for the biggest fight of his pro MMA career when he takes on Volkanovski for the UFC Featherweight Championship at UFC 298 on February 17, 2024. Up to this point, Topuria has garnered a pro MMA record of 14-0. He’s coming off a unanimous decision victory over Josh Emmett, which earned him a “Fight of the Night” bonus.


Alex Volkanovski Doesn’t think Ilia Topuria is Ready for UFC Championship Fight

During an appearance on‘s “The MMA Hour,” Alex Volkanovski told Ariel Helwani that he doesn’t view Ilia Topuria as a world-class fighter just yet, and even thinks he’s gotten the title opportunity too quickly.

“I think [Topuria] may be [getting] rushed,” Volkanovski said. “That doesn’t mean I’m not saying he’s that good. He could be as good as he’s saying. He could be as good as what everyone’s saying, but he hasn’t been able to prove that yet. So that’s what I say when he’s carrying on like, ‘How good am I?’ It’s like, look, you could be that good. Maybe in February you show me that. But until then, until you’ve [fought] someone at this level … it’s just the same Ilia turning up to all these fights.

“I just haven’t seen that elite stuff yet. He might be able to show that in February, so I’m not trying to knock him when I sit there. It’s just, you’d think the way he’s carrying on that, mate, he’s knocking out everybody or no one wants to fight him. Like, literally the way I got to the title. You’d think he’s just doing what all these other guys [have done], which he hasn’t.”

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