Ilia Topuria issues harsh response to Alexander Volkanovski’s criticism over rejecting fights

By Curtis Calhoun - July 3, 2024

UFC featherweight champion Ilia Topuria has responded to Alexander Volkanovski’s harsh criticism about his title reign.

Ilia Topuria, Alexander Volkanovski

Topuria finished Volkanovski to earn the UFC featherweight title at UFC 298 back in February. He’s expected to return to the Octagon by the end of the year, potentially against BMF titleholder Max Holloway.

After starting his title reign, Topuria has come under fire from Holloway, Volkanovski, and others for allegedly rejecting fights with top contenders. He openly discredited the featherweight elite ahead of UFC 298.

Volkanovski recently spoke out against Topuria, urging him to be an active champion and to stop dodging fights.

Ilia Topuria blasts Alexander Volkanovski over recent allegations

During a recent interview with MARCA, Topuria went off on Volkanovski.

“He knows that he is a former world champion, he’s frustrated, dedicating himself to the media and he has nothing else,” Topuria responded to Volkanovski. “They don’t pay attention to him for anything other than talking about me, because if he talks about himself they won’t pay attention. So he has to talk about me…

“What fight am I rejecting? Where? I even offered to have a rematch, but then it’s like he comes from two very tough KOs in one year and he’s like a poor, poor man,” Topuria continued. “He has to give his head a rest, he doesn’t have much room to maneuver. Volkanovski, what did he say? That he was going to beat me right? And what happened? He lost. From what he says it’s like, man, you also said you were going to win and what. What did you do? And now you talk about others, in other words, you don’t even make the bet on yourself and you make it on others. It surprises me, honestly.”

Volkanovski hasn’t fought since the loss to Topuria. He’s called for a rematch upon his return, although he’s also hinted at a potential move back up to lightweight.

Topuria and Volkanovski could potentially run it back soon, depending on Volkanovski’s timeline for his comeback. In the meantime, it appears the two featherweight stars remain firmly at odds.

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


Alex Volkanovski Ilia Topuria UFC