In Numbers: Alexander Volkanovski vs. Ilia Topuria

UFC
February 13, 2024
It was a crisp and pleasant night in Jacksonville, Florida. There was a notable bite to the air as surging featherweight contender Ilia Topuria stepped inside the Octagon on June. 24, 2023, to face perennial threat Josh Emmett.

The fiery Spaniard's immediate objective was to dispatch a formidable scrapper in Emmett. However, that was only the first step in an ambitious plan he had been scheming for months: to deliver a commanding performance that echoed in the Land Down Under and rattled featherweight king Alexander Volkanovski with a message loud and clear - that he was next.

Topuria did just that, and in spectacular fashion. His performance had everything one might expect from a rising star on the hunt for gold. “El Matador” lumped up Emmett with repeated blows to the face and chopped his lead leg with clear malice. Unanimous scores of 50-44, 50-42, and 49-45 spoke volumes about his performance as Topuria recorded his sixth straight UFC victory, and 14th overall.

Meanwhile, Volkanovski had unfinished business in the lightweight division. Having tested and pushed 155-pound champion Islam Makhachev to the limit in their closely contested bout at UFC 284, “The Great” fancied his chance at another shot at the Dagestani. This time, he stepped in as a short-notice replacement to replace Charles Oliveira on 10 days' notice at UFC 294. The leap of faith backfired as Makhachev delivered a resounding first-round head-kick knockout. Volkanovski was reduced to tears in a candid post-fight reflection about his mentality going into the fight. That said, Topuria’s message was hovering in the corner of his thoughts, and the stage is now set for Volkanovski to embrace the challenge of his 27-year-old adversary.It’s a big-fight atmosphere in Anaheim, California, as the UFC touches down at the Honda Center, the stage for the impending featherweight clash. As anticipation builds for this electrifying matchup, all eyes turn to the statistics that underpin the skills of these two seasoned featherweight contenders.

3.03: Volkanovski boasts a striking differential of 3.03, the differential being the difference between strikes absorbed per minute and strikes landed per minute.

1514: The Australian occupies the fourth spot in the featherweight list for total strikes landed with 1514.

1320: Volkanovski has landed the third most significant strikes in the history of the division with 1320.

17:40: Testament to his durability and his long string of five-round title fights and headliners, Volkanovski holds the record for the longest average fight time in the UFC featherweight division.

6: “The Great” holds the second most title fight wins in 145-pound history in the UFC, trailing only fellow divisional GOAT candidate Jose Aldo.

11: He also boasts the longest win streak in the division’s history having remained undefeated since his fight against Mizuto Hirota back in June 2017.

75: In his first fight against Max Holloway for the featherweight strap, Volkanovski landed the most leg kicks ever in a 145-pound fight in the UFC.

0.81: Topuria averages 0.81 knockdowns per 15 minutes in featherweight bouts, occupying the ninth spot on the ladder.

67.4%: Topuria holds a massive 67.4% significant strike difference in his fights which places him in the third spot in divisional history.

4.44: Topuria lands an average of 4.44 significant strikes per minute.

67%: The fact that “El Matador” holds a 67% significant strike defense underscores his ability to engage in fierce exchanges while still maintaining sound defense.

92%: With a stellar 92% takedown defense rate, a Topuria fight generally only hits the canvas when and if the Georgian-born Spaniard wants it to.

Reference: https://www.sherdog.com/news/articles/By-The-Numbers-Alexander-Volkanovski-vs-Ilia-Topuria-192598

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