Alexander Volkanovski’s coach claims Ilia Topuria only “had a puncher’s chance” at UFC 298: “Alex has a much better skill set”

By Cole Shelton - February 20, 2024

Joe Lopez the head coach of Alexander Volkanovski knows his fighter has a much better skill set than Ilia Topuria, despite the loss at UFC 298.

Alexander Volkanovski and Joe Lopez

Volkanovski was headlining UFC 298 on Saturday as he was looking to defend his featherweight title against the undefeated fighter. Heading into the scrap, many were torn on who would win, as Topuria was full of confidence that he would KO Volkanovski.

Ultimately, it was Ilia Topuria who got his hand raised as he scored a second-round KO of Alexander Volkanovski. Topuria was able to back Volkanovski to the cage and then landed a nice combo that knocked him out. The loss was tough for Lopez and Volkanovski’s team as they believed the Aussie was the much better fighter.

“Alex was going through the game plan, was finding his range and starting to touch him up,” Lopez said to Daily Mail. “I was disappointed (by the result), knowing that Alex has a much better skill set… We knew coming into this fight he (Topuria) had a puncher’s chance – and he got that punch.”

Although Joe Lopez thought Ilia Topuria only had a puncher’s chance against Alexander Volkanovski, he did land that punch. Topuria was also having success early on as it was a very even fight until he landed the punch which ended up being the difference.

Following the loss, Volkanovski called for an immediate rematch and he hopes that it will happen next time out.

“We knew he would be fast,” Alexander Volkanovski said at the post-fight press conference. “We knew he would be powerful, obviously. We knew not to be on the cage there and let him catch us there, so again, he did a great job there, so there’s not much I can say other than congrats to him. Obviously, I’ve been a champ for a long time and I want that rematch, so that’s something that needs to happen. I’ve been reigning champ for how long? I’ve been a bit of a company man. Went back up on short notice, I fought Max [Holloway] three times, you name it, I’ve done it individually for a long time so I think I deserve that and I it’s going to be different next time.”

Should the rematch happen, Joe Lopez and Alexander Volkanovski are confident they can make the right adjustments to get the win and reclaim the featherweight title.

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


Alex Volkanovski Ilia Topuria UFC