What’s next for the stars of UFC 298?

By Cole Shelton - February 19, 2024

The UFC was in Anaheim, California on Saturday for UFC 298 and the featherweight title was on the line in the main event.

Ilia Topuria, Alexander Volkanovski UFC 298

In the main event, Alexander Volkanovski was looking to defend his belt against undefeated challenger Ilia Topuria. The co-main event of UFC 298 was a pivotal middleweight bout between Robert Whittaker and Paulo Costa.

Ultimately, it was Topuria who scored a second-round knockout over Volkanovski to become the new featherweight champion. Meanwhile, Whittaker was able to edge out a decision win over Costa in the co-main event to return to the win column. Now, following UFC 298, here is what I think should be next for the four fighters.

Ilia Topuria & Alexander Volkanovski

Ilia Topuria and Alexander Volkanovski will be bunched together in this section as an immediate rematch should be next.

Volkanovski was coming off a KO loss to Islam Makhachev back in October and many wondered if he would be coming back too soon. Topuria, meanwhile, entered the fight with a ton of confidence as he already claimed he was 15-0 and the UFC champ in his Instagram bio before the fight.

Ilia Topuria ended up living up to his words as he scored a second-round knockout over Alexander Volkanovski. Despite the fight having a clear-cut winner, Volkanovski deserves an immediate rematch as he was a long-reigning champion.

UFC CEO Dana White said the promotion plans on going to Spain, which Volkanovski said won’t be until later this year. If that is the case, an immediate rematch in the fall makes the most sense as it allows time for the Aussie to heal from the KO loss.

Robert Whittaker

Robert Whittaker returned to the win column with a hard-fought decision win over Paulo Costa at UFC 298. It was a great performance from the Aussie, who did get rocked at the end of the first round. Whittaker was able to recover and pieced up Costa for the final two rounds to edge out the decision.

Now, following the win, Whittaker is back in the title picture at middleweight and his next fight should be a number one contender bout against Sean Strickland. The fight can serve as a main event of a Fight Night card this summer where the winner will get a title shot.

Paulo Costa

Paulo Costa fought for the first time in a year-and-a-half and despite losing to Robert Whittaker the Brazilian’s stock rose. Costa showed he still is a top-tier middleweight contender and can be in a fun fights if he actually shows up.

Although Costa did lose, he didn’t take much damage so he should be able to return soon, and will get a big fight next time out. A logical next opponent for the Brazilian is to face the winner of Marvin Vettori vs. Brendan Allen which takes place on April 6, which would set them up to fight in July or August.

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Alex Volkanovski Ilia Topuria Paulo Costa Robert Whittaker UFC